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What Is A Cold Sore?

The herpes simplex virus will normally enter the body through a break in the skin or through bodily fluids. While it is rare, cold sores can be spread to other parts of the body as well so you should treat them as contagious.

What Are The Symptoms?

The first sign of a cold sore is pain, which may feel like a small pimple on your lip. The skin on and around the affected area will become tender and red. It is also fairly common to have a fever or sore throat. Some individuals will also experience swollen glands on various parts of their body, primarily in the throat and under arms. It is common for younger children to start drooling shortly before the outbreak of a cold sore. The level of pain and discomfort than an individual experiences when they have a cold sore tends to vary from person to person. For some people, it is a very painful experience and to other people, they will feel little, to no pain at all.

There are also individuals who have the herpes simplex virus without ever actually getting any cold sores. These people tend to have no symptoms and are often unaware that they have the virus. Unfortunately, whether or not a person actually experiences an outbreak of sores does not make them any more or less contagious, so you can pass the virus without knowledge.

How Do You Diagnose Cold Sores?

Unfortunately, there really is not a lot of complicated science and testing that goes into diagnosing cold sores. Normally, your doctor can look at cold sores and tell you almost instantly if that is what they are. Your doctor may encourage you to make a list of who you have come in contact with to make other people aware of the fact that they could have it too.

How Do You Treat Cold Sores?

A doctor will tell you to allow your cold sores to go through the healing process on their own. However, it is perfectly understandable why people with cold sores seek treatment options. Not only can cold sores be embarrassing, but they can also be extremely painful. In addition to the physical dilemmas of cold sores, the contagious nature prevents you from being close to loved ones. Treatment options for cold sores may include skin creams, pain pills, and ointments. There are prescription treatment options as well as over the counter. Individuals who prefer a more natural approach can also try several home remedies to relieve the pain and hasten the healing process.

Can You Prevent Cold Sores?

Cold sores are uncomfortable and something no one ever wants to deal with. Unfortunately, they are itchy, tender blisters that a lot of people experience. The bright side is that cold sores do not have to be something that someone suffers from. There are a number of things people can do to decrease the amount of outbreaks. There are also a number of things people can do to prevent themselves from contracting the virus in the first place.

Be Observant

It is a good idea to take a minute to examine a person before you lock lips with them. Obviously, it is not a good idea to kiss someone if they have cold sores on their mouth. It is important to realize that just because a person does not have a cold sore outbreak; it does not mean they still cannot give the virus to you.

Avoid the Sun

Exposure to a lot of sunlight can increase the number of outbreaks. This is because it stresses your skin and weakens your immune system. Obviously, it isn't possible to stay in your house all the time. This is why you should invest in SPF 30 lip balm and consider wearing a hat (or a visor) when you are in direct sunlight. Keep in mind; if you already have cold sores, you are going to want to use a cotton swab to spread the lip balm. This is because you could spread the virus to the rest of your mouth and lips with the lip balm.

What Is A Cold Sore

Cold sores are also commonly referred to as fever blisters. They are a small cluster of blisters that forms on or around the lip and mouth area. The affected area around the cluster of blisters is usually swollen, tender, and red. The blisters will likely break open and a clear liquid often leaks out. After the leakage, the blister will scab over until it heals. The healing process can take anywhere from a day or two, for a few weeks.

What Causes Cold Sores?

A cold sore on your lip is actually caused by HSV (herpes simplex virus). Technically, there are two different types of HSV (type 1 and 2). Both types of HSV can cause cold sores to form around the mouth, as well as on the genitals and rectum area.


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