Herpes simplex

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    Recurrent viral infection of the skin and mucous membranes due to the Herpes simplex virus. Recurrent lesions have a different presentation than primary infection.

    Clinical features

    • Recurrent herpes labialis: tingling feeling followed by an eruption of vesicles on an erythematous base, located on the lips (‘fever blisters’) and around the mouth, they may extend onto the face. Recurrence corresponds to a reactivation of the latent virus after a primary infection. No associated malaise, adenopathy or fever.
    • Carefully consider other sites: buccal (Stomatitis, Chapter 3), genital (Genital ulcers, Chapter 9), ophthalmic, and secondary bacterial infections.


    • Clean with soap and water 2 times daily until the lesions have healed.
    • For patients with secondary bacterial infections: antibiotic treatment as for impetigo.