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Cold Sores

Cold Sores | Healthier Me Today

Cold sores and Symptoms of Cold Sores are a common ailment many people experience. They are fluid-filled red blisters that are usually clumped together. They are often formed around the mouth, primarily near or on the lips. 

Easily spread through close contacts, such as kissing. Unfortunately, there is no cure for cold sores, but there are ways to treat them and lessen the chances of spreading.

They can even be found inside the mouth, fingers, and nose in some rare cases. They may last for up to two weeks and come back without warning. 

Common Causes of Cold Sores

Common Causes of Cold Sores result from a virus called the herpes simplex virus. There are two types of this virus, herpes simplex type 1 virus (HSV-1) and herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2). 

Herpes Simplex Type 1 Virus – is the Common Causes of Cold Sores

Herpes Simplex Type 2 Virus – is the usual Common Causes of Cold Sores for genital herpes

These two types provide similar-looking sores. Each can cause sores on the other part of the body, such as HSV – 1 can cause sores on the genitals, and for HSV – 2 to cause sores on the mouth area.

These sores are contagious and can be spread even when they aren’t seen. This can happen by sharing cosmetics food and kissing someone with the herpes simplex virus. In addition, oral sex can apply both of these viruses to the other person. 

Symptoms of Cold Sores

It is best to start treatment when you suspect that you are developing a cold sore. Here are a few Symptoms of Cold Sores to look out for and the initial sign you may experience after contracting the herpes simplex virus; 

  • Tingling of the lips or genitals 
  • Burning sensation on either or both these areas 
  • Tender to the touch 
  • Painful when touched or moved 
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes

It is essential to contact your doctor once you have gotten a cold sore or are experiencing any symptoms of Cold Sores and contracted this virus as it can lead to permanent loss of vision if it is not treated in time or in the correct manner. 

Stages of Cold Sores

Here are the 5 main Stages of Cold Sores:

Stage 1 – itching and tingling sensation, which will occur within 24 hours before the blisters will show

Stage 2 – fluid-filled blisters will appear

Stage 3 – these blisters will pop and leak, which will result in painful sores

Stage 4 – eventually, the sores will dry out and form scabs which will itch and cause cracking.

Stage 5 – once the scabs start to fall off, the cold sore will heal.

There are a few risk factors that are associated with cold sores. You may become reactive to things such as; 

  • Stress
  • Sun exposure
  • Colds, flu, or infections
  • HIV/AIDS 
  • Weakened immune system
  • Severe burns
  • Eczema
  • Dental work 
  • chemotherapy

Preventing Cold Sores from Spreading

Hygiene is essential for spreading cold sores, such as frequently washing your hands and keeping intimate products to yourself, and not using other people. For those who suffer from recurrent cold sores, then you can do the following to help them from coming back; 

  1. If your cold sores are triggered by being in the sun, try applying zinc oxide lip balm before spending time outside.
  2. Try stress management techniques such as journaling, meditation, and yoga if they are triggered by stress.
  3. Try to limit contact as much as possible with someone who has cold sores or is a carrier.

Treatment Options for You

There has not yet been a cure found for cold sores. However, there are ways to manage them. Some of the ways that they can be treated are by;

  • Ointments and creams
  • Medications
  • Home remedies

Stay clear of any triggers, and things will worsen them. Prevention is the best treatment as it can become a lifelong struggle and, if left untreated, can cause serious harm. 

Who is Most Likely to Get Cold Sores?

Anyone can get cold sores. It does not discriminate; however, it is more common amongst children. The chances lessen after the age of 35 but are not unlikely. 

It has been found that those who frequently suffer from the herpes simplex virus have a genetic mutation in their genes which compromise the immune system in the prevention of developing cold sores.


FAQ

  1. How do I get rid of a cold sore? Cold sores will typically go away within two weeks without medical treatment. 
  2. How do I identify a cold sore? Cold sores look like blisters formed around the mouth and genitals, depending on what type the person suffers from. They will burst and ooze and then scab. 
  3. What can I put on my cold sore to soothe it? Antiviral medication will treat the virus, but to soothe the symptoms and sores, it is advised to use petroleum jelly to lessen cracking and moisturize the sore and a warm or cool compress to help with inflammation.

Healthier Me Today is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment. Always consult with your healthcare professional. Stay healthy!

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