What Is Nasal Herpes?

Recurring herpes infections may develop in a nearby location, such as the lips, from the site of the primary infection.
Sharing a bath towel may cause nasal herpes.
Eating after other people may cause nasal herpes.
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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 December 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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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.

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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.

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Discuss this Article

anon969224
Post 5

I recently got a bout of this in my left nostril. It comes back now every 30-60 days and it is miserable. I am already on 800mg of acyclovir already, but it's not helping any more up here.

anon114520
Post 4

Baileybear, do your research. If I remember correctly, about 90 percent of us will have HSV1 (oral/nasal herpes) by the time we reach our 50s. You can get it form a kiss on the cheek from your Grandma, so get over it.

ChickenLover
Post 3

I have never heard of nasal herpes up until now. This article was very insightful when it comes to the nasal herpes simplex and I think a lot more people should be aware of how you can contract the disease.

plaid
Post 2

@baileybear - Herpes legions in the mouth come and go just like any other type of herpes. The herpes disease is very tricky and deceiving, so if you think you might have it - anywhere - it's wise to just go ahead and get tested.

You should also watch out for lichen planus of the mouth, which might seem gross, but it really not that invasive to have. Lichen planus can also be on the skin as well.

baileybear
Post 1

Cold sores inside your mouth are also another type of herpes and a lot of people have this. The worst part is that even though there are oral herpes treatments, many people don't utilize the medication. Worse still, many people don't even know they have it and spread it through just the simple act of kissing.

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