Lip herpes – information, prevention and alternative remedies
Alternative help for cold sores
Generally, lip herpes is contagious. Infection can occur through smear or droplet infection. The incubation period for lip herpes is two to twelve days. This is the time between the infection with the virus and the appearance of the first symptoms.
The herpes triggers
Herpes is triggered by various stimuli, such as stress, hormonal influences, infections, strong sunlight or fever. The dormant herpes virus is activated when the immune system is only slightly weakened. Triggers also include surgery, diseases such as pneumonia or cancer, fatigue, immune deficiency, food allergies, hormonal fluctuations or dental treatment.
The course of an infection in cold sores
With the responsible pathogens, a first infection usually goes unnoticed. If people develop herpes, then the time of infection can also be a long time ago. Invaded viruses travel from the site of the initial infection to an associated nerve node and this via the nerve guidance pathways and the nerve node is also infected.
In the case of herpes infection, the immune system can eliminate the pathogens during the first week and this can be done partly in the infected nerve cells and also in the mucous membrane. However, the genetic material of the herpes viruses is hidden in the nucleus of the nerve cells and the viral DNA is not recognized by the immune system and therefore not attacked.
In the nerves, the viral DNA can even survive for a lifetime and further viruses can be produced. The viral DNA reactivates when the immune system is weakened and new viruses develop in infected cells. Then there is the second infection and typical herpes blisters appear.
General information and preventive measures
About ninety percent of all Germans are infected with a herpes virus. The infection does not mean, however, that the disease is visible from the outside. The virus hides in the nerve endings and appears as typical blisters only when certain trigger factors are present. A distinction should be made between the herpes outbreak and the herpes infection.
The safe protection against the lip infection is only given by avoiding contact with people. Those who were not infected in childhood can reduce the risk with sufficient hand hygiene. No objects should be shared with other people, where mouth contact is given. Close physical contact such as contact sports, oral sex or kissing should also be avoided.
The virus can be transmitted not only through mucous membrane contact or skin contact, but also in the form of droplets. The greatest danger comes from contact with a person who has the active outbreak.
Natural remedies for herpes
So what to do against herpes? For cold sores, honey is very popular, because it contains antimicrobial substances, so that viruses and bacteria are killed and thus the reproduction is prevented. If the disease becomes noticeable, a little honey can be applied to the affected area. Tea tree oil also has an antimicrobial effect and known here is the disinfecting effect.
If herpes is to be effectively combated, the oil is best applied to the areas hourly. The viruses are prevented from multiplying and the oil is well absorbed by the skin. Toothpaste is also popular for herpes and many people swear by it. Only with some kinds however also zinc is contained and zinc is anti-inflammatory with the effect.
Successfully used for cold sores in any case is zinc ointment. It should be noted that there are also irritating substances in toothpaste.