About Cold Sores

Cold sores are small blisters or group of blisters that develop on the lip or around the mouth. Cold sores are caused by the virus herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1). Cold sores are also known as herpes simplex labialis.1

HSV-1 is highly contagious, and infection with the virus is common worldwide. As per the WHO, in 2016, an estimated 3.7 billion people had HSV-1 infection, which represents around 66.6% of the world’s population aged 0 to 49.2


HSV belongs to the Herpesviridae family. HSV-1 is responsible for the appearance of characteristic small, febrile, fluid-filled sacs (vesicles) which normally affect the facial skin such as lips, around the mouth and nostrils.3

In cold sores, the herpes virus can spread through the fluid in the blisters or open sores from person to person through close contact such as kissing or shared objects.4

HSV resides in the trigeminal ganglion, which is a group of nerve cells (ganglion) at the side of the face. Cold sore occurs when the virus move along the nerves to the lips, where they cause the characteristics symptoms. Once a person is infected with HSV, the virus resides in the trigeminal ganglion for the rest of the life.4

Cold sore symptoms

Cold sores initially present with a slight tingling and a sense of heat on a reddened point of the lip. This is followed by the appearance of painful blisters filled with clear liquid. The blisters often develop in the same area as the initial point.3

Painful blisters, typically only on one side of the lips are the characteristic symptoms of cold sores. Blisters can also spread to the surrounding skin or into the mouth. Blisters can be accompanied by pain, tenderness and a sensation of heat and burning. After a few days, the blisters may burst and form a crust. The crust dries up and eventually falls off after some days.3

Cold sores may also cause symptoms such as a fever, weakness and swollen lymph nodes in the neck area. In some people, especially kids, the mouth lining may become severely inflamed and painful; it may also cause bad breath.4

Cold sore complications

Cold sores can be irritating and embarrassing. However, in people with weakened immunity and those with some types of immunosuppression (such as those on high doses of corticosteroids or chemotherapy), the cold sores can spread more widely and the symptoms can be more severe.3

Severe cases may cause complications such as bacterial infections with redness around the blisters, pus in the blisters and fever.3

Cold sores may also spread to the eyes, fingers or other parts of the body. Cold sores affecting eye can cause a painful red eye, which if untreated may develop into an ulcer on the cornea that can cause vision problems.3

Why do cold sores keep coming back?

A distinctive feature of HSV is to go against replication within the host cells, without ever being completely eliminated, thus causing a latent infection. Even after several years, the virus can be reactivated from this latent state, giving rise to a recurrence of cold sores. The triggers that cause the recurrence of the viral activity includes common cold, fever, Influenza, or chest infections, sunlight, hormonal changes and stress. The sores usually recur in the same place.3


There’s no cure for cold sores, and they may reappear after the initial attack. Certain medications such as antiviral ointments, creams, patches or gels are usually prescribed to speed up the healing process.5

Though antivirals are helpful, it can also cause a wide array of side effects, including renal failure, hepatitis, and anaphylaxis. Safe and effective alternatives are therefore needed.5

herlip® cold sore rapid relief gel – 8x multi-action formula for cold sores

herlip cold sore rapid relief gel is a world-first 8x multi-action formula used for rapidly treating the symptoms and signs associated with cold sores. The result of 6 years of research and development, this unique eco-friendly anti-inflammatory product with 30+ naturally-sourced ingredients, soothes, treats, and rapidly improves cold sores.

Packed with fast-acting ingredients and zero harsh chemicals, herlip cold sore rapid relief gel is the safe, effective choice for cold sore management. herlip cold sore rapid relief gel contains a unique combination of nine (9) active ingredients:

1.     Leptospermum Australian Manuka honey 50mg/g,

2.     Zinc Oxide 38mg/g,

3.     Lysine 14.9mg/g,

4.     Melissa Officinalis 10.5mg/g,

5.     Glycine 10mg/g,

6.     Propolis Liquid Extract 12mg/g,

7.     Menthol 1.2mg/g,

8.     Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) 1mg/g

9.     Ubiquinol-10 (CoQ10) 500 Microgram/g

Our 8x multi-action formula is unlike any other on the market.  It simultaneously provides; anti-inflammatory action against HSV-1, assistance with wound healing, relief by soothing and cooling the area, acting as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, giving an anti-itch effect, and, finally, moisturizing the affected area.

  1. Cold sores: Overview. American Academy of Dermatology.  Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/cold-sores-overview. Accessed on: 07 February 2021.
  2. Massive proportion of world’s population are living with herpes infection. WHO. 2020. Available at: https://www.who.int/news/item/01-05-2020-massive-proportion-world-population-living-with-herpes-infection. Accessed on: 05 February 2021.
  3. Crimi S, Fiorillo L, Bianchi A, et al. Herpes Virus, Oral Clinical Signs and QoL: Systematic Review of Recent Data. Viruses. 2019;11(5):463. Published 2019 May 21. doi:10.3390/v11050463
  4. InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. Cold sores: Overview. 2018 Jul 12. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK525782/
  5. Gaby AR. Natural remedies for Herpes simplex. Altern Med Rev. 2006;11(2):93-101.