Understanding Cold Sores

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In the past, a cold sore was simply a sore found in an uncommon place. It was not until the 1970s that scientists discovered that a so-called cold sore is caused by a virus known as herpes simplex. Cold sores are blisters around the mouth and lips. These blisters may break open and leak a clear fluid, with the blisters scabbing over and healing anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. There are two types of herpes simplex virus, both of which may cause cold sores.

There are no real tests to determine if somebody has a cold sore. Usually, the blisters just appear. If you have been in close contact with someone else with cold sores, you are more likely to get one too. The best way to avoid getting cold sores is to refrain from contact with those who have them. This includes not sharing eating utensils, drinking water, or engaging in any activities involving close physical contact like kissing. Cold sores may be spread to other areas of the body.

The initial symptoms of cold sores include pain around the lips and mouth. Additional symptoms may include a sore throat, fever, and swollen glands. Small children and babies will sometimes drool prior to the physical appearance of cold sores. Some people will get the virus that causes cold sores, but will not display any symptoms of cold sores.

The virus that causes cold sores cannot be cured. However, the symptoms may be eased with treatments such as skin creams and ointments. It is important to start treatment with medications as soon as the cold sores are detected. Usually waiting to start treatment will not produce any noticeable results or help relieve pain or discomfort. FDA-approved remedies for cold sores include Zovirax, Famvir and Valtrex. These treatments will reduce the amount of time a cold sore lasts by a few days. The most noticeable benefit is relief from painful blisters.

The quality of your drinking water will also have an effect on the development of cold sores. Be aware of the water that is contaminated with toxic chemicals, metals, or bacteria as it can affect a person’s health and immune system, therefore making them ill. Cold sores will often appear during times of heavy stress and lowered immunity, so it is important to always drink purified water that is free of abrasive pollutants that can bring on new sores or aggravate an existing condition.

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