Herpes Type 1

What is Herpes Type 1?

Herpes type 1 (HSV-1) is one of two variations of the herpes simplex virus. HSV-1—also known as oral herpes, fever blisters, or cold sores—causes painful blisters to form around the lips and mouth. Oral herpes is highly contagious and extremely common in the U.S. In fact, as many as 90% of adults in the United States have been exposed to HSV-1.

While HSV-1 most commonly causes oral herpes, it has been known to cause blisters on genitals as well. However, the herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2) is more commonly the cause genital herpes.

Herpes Type 1 Symptoms

Herpes Type 1HSV-1 typically causes blisters to appear around the mouth and lips. Before they appear, experiencing itching, burning, or tingling near the lips or around the mouth is common. After the blisters appear, they may crack open and ooze, then scab over as they heal.

Once you contract herpes simplex 1, you cannot get rid of it. After your first outbreak, the virus moves from the skin cells to the nerve cells, where it remain dormant until another outbreak is triggered.


Although it is not curable, HSV-1 is usually manageable with prescription or over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, as well as some home remedies to aid in the healing process, including:

  • Using lip balms and creams to protect your lips from the sun

  • Applying a cool compress to promote healing

  • Taking a lysine supplement

  • Reducing stress, which can trigger outbreaks


If you are experiencing the symptoms of herpes simplex type 1 and would like to be seen by a medical professional, visit your local FastMed. Our medical professionals will assess your symptoms and provide you with treatment options to have you feeling better fast. We’re open seven days a week and you don’t have to have an appointment to be seen.

The content presented on this page is not intended to diagnose health problems or take the place of professional medical care.