We've all seen them, and more than seven million of us suffer from them - but few of us know the truth about cold sores, those unsightly, painful and embarrassing sores that always seem to appear at the worst possible times.
The correct medical term for cold sores is recurrent herpes labialis. However you may feel about cold sores, you should be aware that the virus that causes cold sores is a real medical condition.
With the cold season coming on, cold sores will be rearing their ugly faces even more often. Get up to speed on all the facts about cold sores so you can try to avoid getting them or you can speed up the healing process.
The first step in controlling your cold sores is knowing what triggers them. There are a few cold sores cures, but you must first understand what the problems are. The most common strain of the virus that causes cold sores is herpes simplex virus 1.
The virus that causes cold sores is infectious.
The herpes virus that causes cold sores is much different and separate from the herpes virus that causes genital sores. The most important management of cold sores is to advise the person who is suffering from them to keep themselves. Finding a home remedy for your cold sores is of the utmost importance when you become aware that an outbreak is going.
Accidental infection of another part of the body is less common in people with a history of cold sores, but it can happen. The infection may be accompanied by a fever and general aches and pains. When the problem first flares up it may be accompanied by fever, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue. In some people the infection remains dormant forever, whereas in others it is reactivated every now and then to cause cold sores. Recurrences are milder than the primary infection, and are commonly known as cold sores or fever blisters.
Two of the most common recurrent oral lesions are fever blisters (also called cold sores) and canker sores (aphthous ulcers). Fever blisters, also called cold sores, and they usually occur outside the mouth--on the lips, chin, and cheeks or in the nostrils. Canker sores and fever blisters (or cold sores) are often confused because they both occur in the area of the mouth. Pain and tingling is often felt a day or two prior to the blisters occurring.
There are several cold sores cures available to ease the symptoms of cold sores. Most cold sores cures contain Lypsine in them to help prevent the nasty problem. The herbal antiseptics Sage and Tea Tree Oil and the herbal sedative Violet have each been suggested as treatments for cold sores. Treatments such as Choraphor and Zovirax can help to shorten the duration of the outbreak dramatically. Antiviral treatments for cold sores, such as Denavir, penetrate the area surrounding the cold sore and block the virus. With most cold sores cures, it may take some time before there is visible improvement.
The main danger with cold sores is where blisters form in or near the eye - you must see your doctor if this happens. Another way of controlling the arrival of cold sores is to become aware of what can trigger it. The best way to prevent cold sores is to boost up Vitamin C.
One of the worst things about cold sores is that once you get one on your lip, they're hard to hide. The best tip on preventing cold sores is using ice. The best way to avoid the hassle of cold sores is to prevent them from forming in the first place.
A cold sore and a canker sore are completely unrelated.
A lot of people have a misunderstanding on this one. A canker sore forms on the inside of your mouth, gums, or tongue and it is not a virus.
A cold sore forms on the outside of your mouth, in most cases, it is a virus. It comes as the result of having the herpes simplex virus type 1.
There is no complete cure for cold sores.
While there are many ways of treating a cold sore and preventing them from forming, there still is no cure for herpes yet. The virus stays dormant in your central nervous system, just waiting to become active.
Stress can cause an outbreak.
This is very true. Emotional stress is one of, if not the biggest, cause for breakouts. Other causes can also include an illness as well as other reasons. When the virus suddenly becomes active, it moves down the nerves and immediately causes a blister form.
Cold sores are contagious.
If you have an active cold sore, you can easily spread it to others. Kissing or sharing the same cup can cause it to spread. Sharing a towel or toothbrush are just a few of the many ways this virus gets spread.
Diet and exercise can help in cold sore prevention.
This is a fact that many people overlook. Diet and exercise will help in strengthening your immune system, which is turns helps to keep the virus dormant. By getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep, are good examples of cold sore care that will lead to keeping the virus from causing a breakout.
The virus can be spread to other places on your body.
After touching an active blister, be sure to wash your hands. If you don't and you touch your eyes, you can spread the virus.
Catching the symptoms early can lead to preventing the sore from breaking out.
There are several ways to prevent a sore from blistering if you start treating it immediately when you first feel the signs of it developing. There are many cold sore care products that can aid in preventing a breakout. That's much better than doing nothing and having a painful sore for the next two weeks.
Myth: Cold sores only come out when you get a cold.
Fact: Though the common cold can bring on a cold sore, there are several triggers which can cause an outbreak. Some of the more common triggers include: fatigue, stress, cold weather, or sun exposure. According to a recent survey by Leger Marketing, as many as 91 per cent of women, for example, don't know menstruation is a trigger of cold sores. It's best to be aware of your personal triggers and avoid or reduce them when possible to lessen the frequency of outbreaks.
Myth: When you get a cold sore, you just have to wait for it to go away.
Fact: The basic life cycle of the cold sore is eight to 10 days, but there are steps you can take to shorten the healing period. Most importantly, you need to target the tingle, or treat the cold sore as soon as you have the tingling feeling that one is about to erupt. You can use an over-the-counter treatment, like Abreva, that contains Docosanol 10% cream, which reduces the duration of pain, burning, and itching by shortening the healing period and helping stop the infection from spreading.
Myth: The only way you can catch a cold sore is if you kiss someone else who has one.
Fact: Cold sores are quite contagious and can be passed on in many different ways. As many as 69 per cent of Canadians don't even know that cold sores are spread through saliva.
One of the most obvious methods you can spread the herpes simplex virus is by kissing, but it can also be spread by sharing utensils, razors, towels or other items that come in contact with the skin or saliva.
Need to get rid of a cold sore fast
See our article Get Rid of Cold Sores using Natural Remedies
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