Oral Herpes Risks and Complications

Everyone is at risk of getting the herpes simplex virus-1 infection. Unfortunately, most infants up to toddlers are already exposed to this virus by any simple human contact. There are about more than 50% of teenagers up to middle-aged people who get the oral herpes infection. At the age of 60, almost all of the population is already infected.

doctor talking to patient about oral herpesOral herpes is not a life-threatening disease, but it may cause discomfort once there is an outcome of symptoms. If an oral herpes infection is not treated, it may cause complications to the infected person. Some of the complications that may arise are:

  1. Dehydration: This can especially happen in infected children.
  2. Scarring: If sores or blisters occur at the same area over and over again, it may cause scarring.
  3. Impetigo: Another bacterial infection called impetigo can happen if oral herpes is untreated. Impetigo is a very contagious skin infection that affects mostly infants and children. It causes red sores in the mouth and nose that will eventually burst and scab.
  4. Eczema herpeticum: This is a rare, but fatal condition of the skin which is mostly caused by untreated oral herpes. This disease affects multiple organs such as the brain, lungs, liver and the eyes.
  5. Bell’s palsy: This is a condition where one side of the face is paralyzed. It affects the nerves of the face which causes one side of the face to droop. This also affects the sense of taste and the making of tears and saliva which last for a few weeks. Although the cause of this condition is
  6. Ocular herpes: This condition is caused by oral herpes infection that has been spread to the eyes and cause inflammation and scarring of the cornea. If this condition is not properly treated, it may lead to blindness.

Oral herpes may not be life threatening, but it does not mean that you will not take medications for it. For more information on how to get treated, visit our page for Oral Herpes Treatment.