Herpes Reactivation From Facial Procedures! Uncommon But It Happens!

Herpes Simplex Virus (1 & 2) (HSV-1 and HSV-2), also known as Human herpes virus 1 and 2 (HHV-1 and -2), are two members of the herpes virus family,Herpesviridae, that infect humans.  Both HSV-1 (which produces most cold sores) and HSV-2 (which produces most genital herpes) are ubiquitous and contagious. They can be spread when an infected person is producing and shedding the virus.

Symptoms of herpes simplex virus infection include watery blisters in the skin or mucous membranes of the mouth, lips or genitals.  Lesions heal with a scab characteristic of herpetic disease. Sometimes, the viruses cause very mild or atypical symptoms during outbreaks. However, as neurotropic and neuroinvasive viruses, HSV-1 and -2 persist in the body by becoming latent and hiding from the immune system in the cell bodies of neurons. After the initial or primary infection, some infected people experience sporadic episodes of viral reactivation or outbreaks. In an outbreak, the virus in a nerve cell becomes active and is transported via the neuron’s axon to the skin, where virus replication and shedding occur and cause new sores.

Triggers for Oral Herpes

Certain conditions can trigger an outbreak of cold sores. They include:

  • Stress – whether emotional or physical
  • Pain
  • Surgery
  • Fever
  • Irritants such as exposure to sun, wind and cold
  • Lack of sleep
  • Menstruation
  • Immunosuppression
  • *Facial Treatments – peels, microdermabrasion, extractions, or vacuum are a few examples (tell your esthetician if you have had herpes)

*While it is uncommon for a reactivation of the herpes virus from facial procedures it is best to inform your esthetician that you have had herpes so that they can limit the chance of reactivation.


While I’ve attempted to use 

credible sources for information, 

this is not intended to be a 

substitute for professional

medical advice or treatment. 

If there is a disparity between 

the information presented 

within this blog and the advice 

given by your medical professional, 

please follow the medical professional’s 

advice as he/she will know you 

and your medical circumstances.

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