Nasal herpes are blisters and sores in and around the nose that are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). They are also commonly found in and around the mouth, genitals, and buttocks; however, they can appear nearly everywhere on the body. The sores can be both uncomfortable and unattractive and can occur frequently in some individuals. Although nasal herpes are not fatal, for people with chronic illnesses and babies, a serious infection can be alarming.
Fever blisters, cold sores, and herpes simplex virus type 1 are all interchangeable names for nasal herpes. They are usually blisters that are filled with clear liquid. Unfortunately, nasal herpes can also lead to deeper wounds in the nasal area, particularly if they become infected.
There are two types of nasal herpes infections – primary infections and recurrent infections. Although the majority of individuals become infected when they are exposed to the herpes virus, only about ten percent will develop an actual sore. For a primary infection, the sores first appear two to 20 days after the individual has contacts the infected person. In addition, the primary infection sores will last anywhere from a week to ten days. Once the primary infection sores heal, there is not likely to be a scar; but, the virus never leaves the body.
Recurrent infections are usually not as severe as the primary infection. A recurrence may happen in the exact same place or in a nearby location. Unfortunately, the recurrent infections can occur every couple weeks or they may be months apart. Usually, recurrent infections are set off by other factors, such as sun, stress, fever, or trauma; or they may occur for no reason at all.
Nasal herpes are usually received from close contact with other people. They are easy to catch and easy to spread. They can be transmitted from sharing a bath towel, face cloth, or even eating after other people. Many people get their first bout of nasal herpes when they are children and then suffer from recurrent infections for years to come. They can be treated with anti-viral drugs and there are a variety of over-the-counter medicines that can help ease the symptoms.
For more information on nasal herpes, consult a dermatologist. He or she will be able to indicate whether the sores in the nose are actually the result of herpes simplex type 1 or if the individual is suffering from a different problem. There are several other diseases and medical conditions that mimic nasal herpes, so a medical opinion is always the safer than any self-diagnosis.