Cold Sore Information - Information About Cold Sores, fever blisters, and herpes
|Cold Sore Information - Information About Cold Sores, Fever Blisters, And Herpes|
Cold Sores: Whether you prefer to call them cold sores, fever
blisters or herpes, you are referring to the same virus.
Cold sores are lesions that are caused by the herpes simplex
virus. Most people carry this virus, but not all of them develop
blisters. Approximately 8 out of 10 people have could sores at
some time in their lives. Viral infection usually occurs early
in life (usually before age 10) but the symptom of cold sores
does not usually occur at first. The virus lies dormant inside
the body until something causes it to become active.
Often that event is an infectious disease, fever, or stress
(hence the term fever blister). Other possible causes of outbreaks
include: sunlight, menstruation, wind, excitement, fatigue, or
injury to the affected area. There is no known cure for the herpes
virus. As people age the severity and frequency of outbreaks generally
Outbreaks usually last 10-14 days.
During this time sufferers should avoid contacting others with
the outbreak area. Medical attention should be sought if the outbreak
lasts longer than 3 weeks or if at any time pus-filled blisters
form underneath the crust of cold sores.
Herpes Simplex Type 1 generally occurs on the mouth, but can also be spread to the genitals. A related virus, herpes Simplex Type 2 prefers the genitals but can also appear on the mouth. Both types of herpes can be the result
of contact transfer (hand to mouth, oral sex, or other transfer
Avoid touching the area.
Keep the area moist and clean. An antiseptic
mouth rinse might be helpful
to protect the area from exposure.
Minimize stress and emotional tension.
Aspirin or other pain
relievers can ease the pain and reduce inflammation.
A new product called abreva
is the first clinically proven (by the FDA) to shorten the
healing time and duration of outbreaks. It is definitely worth
Avoid contact (especially sexual contact) with the area.
methods may not be entirely effective.
Avoid eating spicy and acidic foods as they can cause discomfort.
Use a condom during any sex.