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Small Multiple Blisters around lips, Herpes Labialis, Causes, Treatment

Dr. Adil R, MBBS

small multiple blisters around lips herpes labialis 

Appearance of Blisters around lips is the most common condition experienced by almost every person few times in his/her life time.

Most of the people get this disease when they reach the age of 20. This is Highly contagious infection and transfer from one person to another through intimate contact, sharing towels and other articles.

Once it infects somebody, a tendency of recurrent infection always remain there. It is very difficult to eliminate this virus completely. But in normal healthy individual this virus don’t cause serious complications. It causes serious complication in only immuno-deficient person ( eg., AIDS ). The Causative virus has two subtypes, Herpes simplex type I and Herpes simplex type II. Herpes simplex type 1 causes herpes labialis and it is more common. The Herpes Simplex type II virus causes genital herpes ( see article about genital herpes, causes and treatment )but it may cause herpes labialis as well.

After first infection, the herpes simplex type I virus stay dormant in the nerve endings of face and lips, and appear only if it gets a chance, that is when person immunity or natural defense becomes weaker or busy in dealing other infections. So it may appear along other systemic infection. It occurs most commonly with respiratory infections for example pneumonia or sore throat. (also read article about sore throat causes and treatment )


Symptoms are painful, multiple small blisters which appear most commonly around lips but may appear on other sites of face. The blisters may contain, clear fluid or yellow colored fluid.


Most of the times such blisters around lips don’t need any treatment, they disappear completely within two weeks in normal healthy immuno-competent person. Anti viral drugs such as Acyclovir help to get rid of these sooner. They are most effective when taken before the appearance of blisters. Blisters usually follow, pain or tingling sensation in the area of appearance.

Topical antiviral drugs are also helpful and frequent cleaning with gentle soap application is also helpful. Recurrent infections can be prevented by avoiding sunlight, using sun blocks, by maintaining adequate hydration of body, and by maintaining good hygiene and by avoiding infections.

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