What Are Cold Sores?
Cold sores are a viral disease caused by herpes simplex virus. They are fluid filled blisters which may develop around the lips.
Often developed in patches, once the blisters break, they are replaced by a crust. Cold sores usually take a few weeks to clear off and usually no treatment is required.
Cold sores are contagious and may spread via person to person contact. Since there is no cure for HSV infections, cold sores may recur.
However, antiviral medications may decrease the frequency of their occurrences and ensure that they heal at a faster rate.
Causes Of Cold Sores:
Cold sores are caused by type 1 of herpes simplex virus. HSV-2 causes genital herpes. However, both may cause sores to appear.
Being extremely contagious when oozing fluids, cold sores can also be transmitted if no visible sores appear. It can be transmitted via:
- Sharing eating utensils with an infected person
- Using razors and towels of an infected person
- Kissing an infected individual
- Oral sex with those infected by HSV
Once infection has been contracted, the virus may remain dormant in the nerve cells and may recur if triggered. Possible triggers include:
- Viral infection or fever
- Hormonal changes
- Exposure to sunlight and wind
- Changes in the immune system
- Lip or mouth injury
Certain diseases may increase the risk of developing cold sores. These include:
- Severe burns
- Cancer chemotherapy
- Anti-rejection drugs for organ transplants
Symptoms Of Cold Sore:
The following signs and symptoms are exhibited:
- Painful eroded gums
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Presence of a cold sore characterized by:
- Tingling and itching
- Oozing and crusting
Diagnosis Of Cold Sores:
Cold sores can be diagnosed via simply examining them upon doctor’s appointment. In order to diagnose cold sores, lab tests may be conducted.
Treatment Of Cold Sores:
Cold sores may clear up without treatment. However, the underlying cause cannot be cured and therefore they may recur.
Antiviral medications help in the healing process and also in decreasing the frequency of the occurrences.
Possible medications may include:
- Acyclovir (Xerese, Zovirax)
- Valacyclovir (Valtrex)
- Famciclovir (Famvir)
- Penciclovir (Denavir)
By : Natural Health News