Cold Sores / Oral Herpes Symptoms
and Stages of Herpes on the Mouth
Cold Sore Symptoms and Relief
The Eight Distinct Stages of a cold sore
Except for noted sources, by N J Howell
Oral Herpes Information
How you Catch Herpes
Types of Herpes
Stop Herpes Outbreaks
Oral herpes outbreaks follow a path of 8 stages in their progression. Learn more about cold sores in this health education article, courtesy of ZenMed Skincare.
Prodrome, the first phase or a cold sore outbreak:
During prodome, the outbreak area gets warm and painful; tingling is also associated with this first stage.
Macules, the second stage of a cold sore outbreak: Area becomes red, which is the result of hypersensitivity or allergic reaction, occurring because of the cold sore virus
Papules, stage three of a cold sore outbreak: At this point papules, which are small red bumps, form in the affected area. These bumps usually come with a throbbing type of pain in the area as well. Although these papules may itch as they start to heal, it is best not to scratch them and to sanitize hands and outbreak area often.
Vesicles, the outbreak stage of the herpes simplex virus: Here is when you begin to see the common sight of blisters and it is obvious that there is an outbreak. The blisters are filled with fluid and colorless, and are called vesticles. Vesticles can be very painful.
Postules, stage 5 of a herpes outbreak: At this stage a clear liquid becomes yellow and pus forms. At this stage, the herpes lesions are called postules.
Crust, Stage 6 of an outbreak, and healing begins. During the crusting period a yellowish crust forms on the affected area.
Scab, phase 7 of an oral herpes outbreak: Area becomes reddish and dry. Often, the area itches noticably at this point in the healing process.
Healing, phase 8 of the oral herpes outbreak: The scab comes off, the area begins to look normal again, a sign that the strain of herpes virus that causes mouth sores is retreating and going into hiding again.
Relief from oral herpes outbreaks: The same types of antivirals that are affective against HSV-2, or genital herpes, can help with an outbreak of herpes on the mouth. Natural remedies are actually very effective at getting the herpes virus to retreat more quickly. Lemon Balm oil and Tea Tree Oil are both used with success by many to shorten outbreak time and cycle. In addition, there are formulations that may prove very helpful.
One of these used to come from Zenmed. They have apparently discontinued the Avacare product. Another great product I would have recommended, called H-Cold Sores from Amoils has apparently also been discontinued, perhaps due to pressure from FDA. For application to tender areas, I always suggest dillution. Another great option for herpes relieve is homeopathy. Generally safe, even when taken with antiherpetic meds like Valtrex, homeopathics can sometimes provide rapid relief from pain or other symptoms. There are additionally some good homeopathic singles for herpes and at least one homeopathic antiviral formula that may be helpful to relieve symptoms and speed healing. There are also several topicals with lysine that may be helpful.
More information on stopping cold sores naturally
Health Disclaimer: The information on this website is educational in nature and never intended to replace any needed medical testing, evaluation or treatment. Please see a doctor if you suspect you may have contracted oral herpes. There are other health conditions that need to be ruled out.