Oral herpes is a condition that is caused by the infection of the herpes simplex virus. The herpes virus, and its variants, cause diseases like chicken pox, cold sores, and genital herpes. The herpes simplex virus is one of the most virulent strains of viruses and can spread through the airborne route, as is the case in chicken pox, through person-to-person contact, and also through sexual activity. Once the virus enters the body, as is the case in chicken pox in childhood, the virus will start an infective process that is typified by sores and high fever. This lasts until the viral shedding phase. The virus then retreats into the nerve cells of the body and lie dormant until a trigger awakens them. The virus will then travel along the spinal column and start an infective process again and the cycle continues. The herpes virus will be a companion of a person until death though one infective episode will build body immunity against the virus becoming continuously infectious.
Oral herpes is also called the cold sores and is a herpes infection of the area around the mouth. The lips are usually the most affected region and bursts into typical herpes sores. These sores are part of the herpes simplex virus’ mechanism of infecting a new host. Viruses have stage in their lifecycle called the shedding phase. In this phase, the virus after using up the resources of a host cell will burst free from the cell to colonize other cells. The sores of a herpes infection are very potent and filled with the virus. An uninfected person coming into contact with herpes sores will be infected immediately. The sores themselves are extremely painful and irritating. The urge to scratch a sore must be fought off as doing so will puncture the blister and cause a scar to develop. These scars can take years to disappear completely.
Being a viral infection, there is no cure for oral herpes, though there are some antiviral treatments that have been developed. These are quickly being rendered ineffective as viruses mutate and this is the very reason that there is no way to kill them off. The human immune system is however very adaptive and has the best mechanisms to deal with any kind of infection. The best treatment that you can administer is a topical application of tea tree oil on the sores of the herpes infection.