Cosmetic & Laser Surgery Institute | Herpes Simplex
Led by Dr. Diana Parnell, dermatology practice located in Marin County, CA offering the latest in medical and cosmetic dermatology
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Herpes Simplex

Herpes simplex infections appear as red, grouped, watery blisters which crust up and are often painful or itchy. An outbreak usually persists for 1-2 weeks and always recurs at the same site. During the initial episode patients frequently feel ill and may have a fever.


Initial episodes usually take three weeks to heal. Subsequent attacks are preceded by stinging or soreness at the site prior to the eruption. With the passage of time, the duration between outbreaks lengthens and the infection usually becomes milder.


Oral Herpes (HSV-I) is contagious up to a day before it appears and until the lesion has visibly resolved. Genital Herpes (HSV-II) is contagious even if there are no signs or symptoms. Therefore, it is possible to transmit the virus to a sexual partner without any sign of an outbreak. It is estimated that 80% of Americans have been exposed to and carry the herpes simplex virus.

Herpes Simplex

Herpes Simplex

Herpes Simplex I (Cold Sore)

Treatments include oral and/or topical antiviral prescription medications. Topical antiviral medication is less effective and is now extremely expensive. Oral antivirals taken at the onset of symptoms, before a visible lesion appears, lessen its intensity or may even avert a breakout. Maintenance dosing is used when attacks are frequent to prevent and avoid spreading both oral and genital herpes.

To learn more about the services we offer or to schedule an appointment, contact The Cosmetic & Laser Surgery Institute today!