Herpes on Cheek Pictures - 13 Photos & Images

Herpes is a family of highly contagious viral infections. A form of the disease, varicella, causes chickenpox and shingles. Another form, herpes simplex virus type 1, or HSV-1, is the usual cause of herpes infections above the waist, including oral herpes. Herpes simplex virus type 2, or HSV-2, is usually the cause of genital herpes. All three herpes types can cause facial symptoms.

Called “cold sores” and “fever blisters,” oral herpes can infect the lips, the hard surfaces inside the mouth and around the outside of the mouth. Less often, the blisters can appear on the cheeks, chin, neck and nose. The usual culprit in oral herpes infections is HSV-1, though HSV-2 can sometimes cause oral herpes as well. Medline Plus reports that more than half of the United States population is infected with HSV-1 by the time they reach their twenties. Kissing can transfer the disease from one person to another, though it can also be transferred from another area on the body, via the fingers, to the face. The virus lies dormant in the body and can reappear at any time. The first symptom that an outbreak is going to occur, called the “prodrome,” or “tingling stage,” is a tingling feeling in the spot where a lesion will appear. The “blister stage” follows, with one or more fluid-filled blisters forming and lasting about two days. The “weeping” or “ulcer” stage lasts about one day. During this time, the blisters break open and the liquid leaks out. This is the most contagious stage. The “scabbing stage” lasts two to three days. During that time the lesions crust and scab. The final stage is the “healing stage.”

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