Cold Sores

Cold Sores

Effective Anti-Viral treatment and prevention of cold sores What are Cold Sores and what causes them? Cold sores are blisters which occur on the mouth and lips, they are a symptom caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). The virus is passed on through close contact with someone and i is often passed on through kissing and the sharing of cu...

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Cold Sores

Effective Anti-Viral treatment and prevention of cold sores

What are Cold Sores and what causes them?

Cold sores are blisters which occur on the mouth and lips, they are a symptom caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). The virus is passed on through close contact with someone and i is often passed on through kissing and the sharing of cutlery, lipstick, toothbrushes, razors and glasses. Cold sores can also be caused by another type of HSV called HSV-2 type. This version of the virus causes genital herpes but it can also cause oral herpes if it is transmitted through oral sex.

The virus remains dormant under the skin but flares up and causes symptoms when the persons immune system weakens through stress or illness. Cold sores can take up to 10 days to fully heal, however in between this time a person can feel significant discomfort and pain. If treated with antivirals, cold sores can heal up quicker and cause significantly less pain than untreated.

Cold sore frequency varies from person to person. Some are more susceptible to outbreaks than others. They can be triggered by external factors such as sunlight, cold, scratches on or around the mouth. The most common triggers are a weakened immune system through illness and stress.

What are Cold Sore symptoms and stages?

  1. Tingling, itching or burning sensation.
  2. Small fluid filled blisters form
  3. The blister will fill with fluid, burst and then scab over
  4. The scab will slowly heal (up to 10 days)

If antivirals are started at the “tingle” phase, they can significantly reduce the length of time symptoms last for.

What else will help if you have a Cold Sore outbreak?

These things will help you stop the spread of a cold sore virus and help you to recover quicker from an outbreak:

  • Drink plenty of fluid and avoid dehydration.
  • Wash your hands before and after applying any makeup or cream.
  • Use SPF 15 or higher lip balm (protects against UV which can make a cold sore worse).
  • Eat cool, soft foods.
  • Take painkillers to help with the pain and swelling

What not to do when you have an outbreak

  • Avoid touching your cold sore.
  • Avoid kissing during an outbreak
  • Avoid oral sex until your cold sore has completely healed.
  • Do not: share cutlery, makeup etc during an outbreak
  • Avoid salty, acidic food that could aggravate a blister
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