Search form



CL Mobile Menu

Oro-labial Herpes Simplex (“Cold Sores”)

Oro-labial Herpes Simplex (“Cold Sores”)

A 77-year-old man sought medical attention because of a painful group of “sores” near his mouth. He was just recovering from community-acquired pneumonia.

Key point: This clustered grouping of small, shallow erosions surmounting a slightly indurated plaque is characteristic for oro-labial herpes simplex (“cold sores”).

Treatment: Because no vesicles were present and the lesions appeared to already be crusting over, the patient was advised to apply an over-the-counter cream (docosanol 10%) per package insert instructions. At this point, the expense of a systemic agent would not be justified for the minimally improved healing time likely to result.

Note: This patient had not had “cold sores” for many decades. The attack was precipitated by the temporarily impaired immune response associated with his antecedent pulmonary infection.  

Loading comments...

By clicking Accept, you agree to become a member of the UBM Medica Community.