Woman applying lipstick
Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Herpetic lesion are painful fluid-filled lesions that can be found anywhere on the skin or external mucous membrane of humans. These lesions are caused by the Herpes Simplex One virus or the Herpes Simplex Two virus. Oral herpes is more often caused by Herpes Simplex One virus.

Herpetic lesions occur after initial infection after which the virus lays dormant in nerve cells. The virus may be reactivated periodically, causing herpetic lesions.


Woman licking lips
Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Oral herpetic lesions are also known as cold sores. They usually manifest themselves as painful fluid-filled lesions in or around the mouth and tongue. Pain usually proceeds the lesion by one or two days. If the lesions are not filled with fluid or painful they are most likely canker sores.


Woman studying computer screen
Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

The appearance of herpetic lesions on the tongue are usually proceeded by tingling in the area of the lesion. Reactivation of the herpes virus can be caused by illness, stress or menstruation.


Shop Assistant Standing By the Checkout Counter in a Drugstore Being Handed a Bank Card By a Customer
Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

Herpetic lesions respond to treatment with viral medications. An untreated herpetic lesion usually takes two weeks to resolve itself, but if antiviral medication is used the recovery time can be shortened to 5 to 7 days.