A cold sore appears as an inflamed blister near or in the mouth. They are sometimes referred to as fever blisters/Oral Herpes and are actually a group of small blisters. Cold sores are often red in appearance and can be sore to the touch for the individual who has one. Generally, these types of sores eventually break, causing a clear liquid to flow in place of it and a scab. On average it takes about 2 weeks for a cold sore to heal properly. Cold sores are caused by the Herpes Virus. There are two types of the virus, one and two (HSV1 and HSV2). Type one affects more that half of the United States by the time most people hit their 20's. These types of viruses can also created sores around the genital area as well. Cold sores are contagious and are often spread when an individual either touches a cold sore or the fluid that is found in cold sores. Kissing and touching saliva are some of the most common ways. However, sharing eating utensils and razors can spread the virus as well. Not everyone who gets the virus will have symptoms or cold sores. Unfortunately, once a person is affected by a cold sore, it can spread to numerous parts of the body. Symptoms may include the following (WEBMD).
- Consistent pain around the mouth or lips
- Sore throat
- Swollen glands around the neck area
Doctors diagnose whether or not a person has a cold sore by asking a series of questions regarding whether or not they could have come in contact with someone who had the virus. They will also do an examination to make sure that it is not something else. For this type of virus, tests are generally not needed. It is extremely visible to the doctor. If you have a cold sore, do not panic. They normally go away on their own starting within a few days. However, if you are extremely uncomfortable, use skin ointments or pills that are specially made to help heal the cold sore faster. If you have any further medical questions as to what would work best for you, always consult with your doctor first. Treating cold sores may make them go away only a little faster, however, treatment can cause them to be less painful during the healing process.
There is no cure for cold sores or the Herpes Virus. Once you have come in contact with the virus, it stays within your body for the rest of your life. The cold sores may just pop up at any time. However, they are generally very treatable. In order to prevent the spreading of cold sores, it is best to always use your own eating utensils, and refrain from kissing anyone while they may be infected. If are currently infected with the virus, in order to reduce serial breakouts, it is a great ideal to refrain from extreme stress, the flu, and colds. Always make sure you use sunscreen and avoid sharing items like silverware, towels and toothbrushes. Wash your hands often to ensure that you do not spread the infection to other portions of your body.
PHOTOS OF COLD SORES!
What is a cold sore?
- MEDLINE PLUS, ABOUT COLD SORES!
- IS A COLD SORE PERMANENT?
- HOW TO TREAT A COLD SORE OR FEVER BLISTERS?
- FIT & HEALTH, 7 WAYS TO GET RID OF COLD SORES!
- SKIN PROBLEMS & TREATMENT CENTER, WEBMD, COLD SORES!
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