Cold sores, which are often known as fever blisters, is a skin condition which is known to occur on the lips or area around one’s mouth. The cold sores’ skin condition is a group of small blisters on one’s lip and around the mouth. This cold sores skin condition is such that skin around the blisters is mostly swollen, red, and sore. Blisters can even break open, thereafter leaks clear fluid, which then scabs over after a few days. These usually heal in several days or about takes some two weeks.
A cold sores skin condition is known to be caused because of the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Herpes simplex virus is of two types:
Both these virus types are known for causing cold sores or are also simply called as lip sores or mouth sores by the common man. Also, these virus types are also causing genital herpes.
The herpes simplex virus, by and large, enters one’s body through a break in one’s skin around or even through inside of one’s mouth. Herpes Simplex virus causing cold sores mostly spreads when a person touches another infected person’s cold sore or from touching another person’s infected fluid. It doesn’t mean only touching fluid but can also cause such as from the sharing of razor or eating utensils, and please remember also spreads through kissing the infected person or to be more explanative when there is touching of such infected person’s saliva. This is the most common method through which this virus spreads, that is a parent who has cold sores often is known to spread this infection to his/ her child in such away. Cold sores may also spread to other parts of the body.
The very first symptom of cold sores is reddening, and thereafter the symptoms of the cold sores are:
- Pain around one’s mouth, also on one’s lips
- Sore throat
- Swollen glands in the neck or maybe even in other parts of the body.
- Drool: in small children sometimes they drool before appearing of cold sores
After cold sore’s blisters appear, these usually then break open, leaking clear fluid, and on that, then crust’s over, thereafter disappears in several days to two weeks. Some people having cold sores is a very painful experience, whereas some people do have cold sores causing viruses but lucky enough for not getting skin condition of cold sores. These people have no showing of even symptoms.
Cold Sores are known to get healed by themselves. But still, there are home remedies for cold sores, which can help you manage the symptoms of your cold sore at home.
Home remedies for cold sores are effective in giving you some relief as well as helping in speeding up the healing process.
Home Remedies for cold sore:
- Take a cool and wet towel and place it on sores that are for three times in a day for some 20 minutes. It helps in reducing redness/ swelling.
- Taking ibuprofen: such as Advil, Motrin
- I am taking acetaminophen: such as Tylenol, these help in reducing the pain.
- Remember: Don’t give aspirin to individuals who us younger than 20 years of age as this has been found to have a link to Reye’s syndrome.
- Use mouth rinse: its ingredients must-have baking soda, soothes sore mouth.
- Avoid foods that have acid content: especially citrus fruits and also tomatoes, as an acid in food can increase the soreness.
- Applying non-prescription ointments helps in relieving pain and also helps in healing cold sores. Such as Abreva, Ziladent, and Zilactin, these ointments are good for speeding the healing of the cold sores and even in preventing them if you apply early enough. Other ointment products like Orajel / Anbesol are known to numb the sore areas in the mouth as well as on lips, which helps you in eating food etc.
Home Remedies for cold sores helping to reduce the frequency of the cold sores outbreaks:
- Avoid prolonged exposure of lips to sunlight; you can wear a hat which will help in giving shade to your mouth
- Avoiding intimate contact like kissing with such people who are already infected with cold sores or genital herpes.
- Using sunscreen all the time, that is even on your lips, which can be in the form of lip balm and on the face, especially in areas that are prone to have the cold sores.
- Avoiding foods that seem to cause you cold sores and its recurring.
- Avoiding sharing of towels, or razors, or silverware, even toothbrushes, or any other objects that infected person with cold sore have used.
Measures to be taken to help prevent the spread of the cold sores in your children:
- Encourage the habit of frequent hand-washing and whenever coming from outside.
- Don’t let your children share those toys which the other children have put in their mouths.
- Occasionally you can clean the toys with disinfectant.
- Children are having open or leaking cold sores blister; then, you must keep them at home till their blisters begin to scabbing over.
- Don’t let your children kiss anybody else while they have cold sores or if there is uncontrollable drooling.
- Using gloves when you are applying medicated ointment on to your children’s cold sores.
Are Cold Sores Contagious?
Cold sores are infectious diseases that get characterized by the development of red, small blisters that will develop around the region of the mouth. In some cases, they might even develop on the tongue, the gum, the inside of the cheeks, nostrils and even the chin. The blisters that develop owing to cold sores are also called fever blisters. They are said to be caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV).When a person gets cold sores, or if one of your kids does, it will not be uncommon for you to wonder ‘are cold sores contagious?’ The truth is that cold sores are highly contagious. The virus, HSV, which is responsible for the development of these sores could end up passing from person to person, even of the person who is infected doesn’t have a cold sore that is active.
Yes, they are extremely contagious. The HSV – 1 virus that causes for these unsightly and uncomfortable sores, are present in almost 80% of the overall global population. Most people will get infected by the virus at an extremely early age; and this is generally known to happen before they turn 5 years old. Once the virus has affected you, it will remain with you forever. Although HSV-1 is a dormant virus most of the time it will be in the body, it will definitely be present in the body. One more point that is important to remember while answering the question ‘are cold sores contagious’ is that the HSV virus could be passed on to another person, even if the infected person is not in the stage of an outbreak.
Mediums of Infection:
Perhaps, the most common of all the ways in which the HSV virus could pass on from an object to a person would be by using a tube of lip balm or say a toothbrush that has been used by the person. If the particles are going to get transferred via an object, the person might run a risk of getting infected.
People are most likely to get infected when they come in direct contact with a cold sore. However, it is important to note that the cold sore will go through a lot of stages before it finally fades away. The tingle stage is the first stage. While this stage will not bring about the full-blown formation of the cold sore, it will definitely mean that the virus has been reactivated. At this point in time, there is a definite risk of spreading the virus. However, the risk is said to be the highest when the sore reaches the stage of weeping. While it is at the weeping stage, the sore will burst open and there will be the expulsion of a clear liquid that is involved. Even when the sore reaches its crusting stage, it is still not back to normal. This would mean that it is still prone to transferring the virus.
One more important point to consider would be that the virus could pass on from one infected part to another part of the person’s body. When this infection reaches the fingers, it can be extremely and particularly painful. When infected with a cold sore, people should be extremely careful to wash their hands thoroughly to avoid spreading the infection.
DO MOST PEOPLE GET COLD SORES?
If you’ve had a cold sore, or seen someone else with it, you’ve surely asked yourself the quintessential question – Do most people get cold sores? Unfortunately, the answer is YES! Anybody, who is everybody could be an unsuspecting prey to ‘cold sores’. Understanding why they occur and how to prevent them, plays an important role in keeping them at bay!
What are cold sores?
Cold sores are small and painful blisters that usually are seen to crop up around a person’s lips. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus – 1 (HSV – 1). They could, sometimes, be inside the person’s mouth, face, or even inside the nose.
HSV – 2 can cause sores around the genital area, and this can be spread via sexual contact.
Where does the name ‘herpes’ come from?
The term comes from the greek word ‘herpes’, which means ‘to creep or crawl’; and this denotes the manner in which the lesions resulting from cold sores spread.
Why do people get cold sores?
The virus gets triggered, especially when a person’s body immunity is at a low, and this causes the virus to replicate itself. This process of replication is said to take place at areas surrounding the nose and the lips, which is why these are the most common areas where you may notice a cold sore.
Triggering the cold sore
One fact that people remain unaware about is – people are generally prone to these sores when they are stressed out. Injuries and illnesses that cause stress act as natural triggers to set off a cold sore sprout. Cold sores have a tendency of replicating in environments that are warm, which is why people with the flu or those who are excessively exposed to sunlight are more prone to getting them. The irony of life – you expose yourself to HEAT and you get a COLD sore!!! Alas!
Why do most people get cold sores?
Cold sores are extremely common because of another simple reason – THEY ARE CONTAGIOUS.
Since cold sores contain the parent virus that cause them – herpes simplex virus, they can get passed on to others and result in an infection. The route that this transfer takes could be in the form of direct skin to skin contact. In such cases, kissing someone, or just brushing against their lesion could cause you to contract the infection. Virus particles may also be spread via an intermediary object – which may be as simple as a hand towel, lipstick or a common eating utensil.
Transferring the herpes virus to another person should be your concern, but not as much as transferring it to another part of your body must be. The herpes simplex virus can cause herpetic whitlow, which is an infection of the fingers. If herpes infection spreads to your eye it could lead to herpes zoster ophthalmicus, which could result in corneal blindness.
The most contagious stage of a cold sore is when the blister ruptures. The pus in these sores are home to a million herpes viruses. They are set free when a blister ruptures. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after using topical treatment on a cold sore.
GETTING RID OF COLD SORES
You’re getting ready for your date tonight. Just when you’re about to dab some powder onto your nose, you notice it.
‘This can’t be happening. Not on my date night!’
You scream. You wail. You fling your arms in the air like a mad woman; but nothing seems to help, does it? Zits have a weird way of showing up on days when they shouldn’t.
Well, guess what, this write up isn’t on zits. It’s on something that manages to beat zits. COLD SORES!!!
These ugly outbursts on your skin are caused due to the herpes simple virus type 1. This is a highly contagious virus which refuses to die once it enters your nervous system. Once you’ve gotten a cold sore, chances are that several more might appear on your face over a period of time.
RID OF COLD SORES
Identify the problem sooner, to zap them off sooner!
Getting rid of cold sores can be a little more difficult than you think. So the easier way out is to identify the problem early on. Cold sores tend to start off as a small irritation. It could be accompanied by a sense of itching and burning. They tend to spread and grow into large clusters of pus-filled sores, which usually last for 1-2 weeks.
Do not touch the sores
The more you touch a sore, the more likely you are to pass it on to some other part of your face. Or in worse cases, you might pass it on to someone else. While refraining from scratching a cold sore is almost as impossible as scaling the Everest in 2 days, try to resist the urge. It may help you in getting rid of cold sores.
Clean the sore
It is advisable to clean the area of the sore, and its surrounding areas, using a clean washcloth and hot, soapy water. Not only does it provide for temporary relief, it also minimizes infection.
Best bet – Petroleum based products
Try Neosporin or a pure petroleum jelly to cover the patch of skin that has been affected. Make sure your hands are clean before you start out with this whole exercise. Apply generous amounts of petroleum on the affected area and move inwards, because this can help deter the infection from spreading outwards.
Know your trigger
In most cold sore cases, there are specific factors that trigger off the growth of a cold sore. While some people have breakouts when they’re stressed out, some others might be prone to it around the time of their menstrual period. Overexposure to extreme weather could also play a role here. Try and identify your trigger. It will help you monitor your outbreaks, because you will be able to anticipate them.
Lastly, remember, zits are much easier to deal with. Getting rid of cold sores can turn out to be quite a gruesome and embarrassing task. The good news is that cold sores are not permanent. They do leave after a while (well, long while).
How to Get Rid of Cold Sores Fast: A Brief Outline
It is important to know how to get rid of cold sores fast. Cold sores produce irritation on the face and lips. It can also lead to a bump that is invisible. Individuals suffering from cold sores feel an increasing urge to prod and poke at the pores. Cold sores manifest themselves in the form of a blistering protrusion.
Type 1 of the herpes simplex virus is responsible for cold sores. The virus is highly contagious. The virus sometimes rises from dormancy and causes bumps to appear on the face. Hence, it is vital and crucial to get rid of cold sores fast. The following are some of the ways how to get rid of cold sores fast.
1. Identify the symptoms
Cold sores should not be confused with canker sores. Canker sores are bacterial infections occurring within the mouth. In contrast, cold sores are blisters that are red, and they contain pus. They occur around the mouth and nose. Cold sores begin with the prodromal stage. Slight irritation manifests itself. Symptoms of cold sores include burning, itching, and tightening of the skin. The sores gain fluid and last for one to two weeks.
2. Avoid rubbing, scratching, and touching
The chances of a cold sore disappearing are higher, if they are left untouched. Physical contact spreads cold sores. Rubbing and scratching a cold sore will lead to spreading of the herpes virus. The pus and fluid should not spread to the rest of the face. Cold sores cause extreme irritation. They are often itchy. Sometimes, it may seem impossible to prevent the scratching of a cold sore.
3. Use a cloth and hot water
Instead of scratching a cold sore, utilize a clean cloth, hot water, and a soap that has antibacterial properties. The cold sore and the surrounding regions should be scrubbed mildly. The soap and hot water minimizes infection. The pus and fluids need to be cleansed to prevent them from spreading. Individuals should refrain from over-scrubbing. This can worsen the infection and cause irritation.
4. Use a Petroleum-based Product
Petroleum jelly and products such as Neosporin could seal the herpes virus and prevent further infection. Irritation is also minimized. The hands need to be washed with hot and soapy water. Apply the jelly directly to the sore and surrounding regions. In order to minimize spreading of the virus, work the way inwards.
5. Identify the Triggers
Triggers for cold sores vary from individual to individual. However, some triggers are common, including anxiety, stress, foods containing salts and acids, menstruation, climate extremes, and other health conditions such as influenza and common colds. The outbreaks should be monitored, and triggers should be avoided. Outbreaks should be anticipated. This explains how to get rid of cold sores fast.