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Treating a cold sore

Cold sores are also called fever blisters which are tiny lesions filled with fluid that occurs on and around the areas of the lips and grouped together in patches. When the blisters break, a crust will form over the sore and these sores typically heal in a span of two weeks.

Cold sores can spread by close contact including kissing. These cold sores are instigated by a virus known as herpes simplex and can affect the mouth or the genitals and can be spread through oral sex. If you want to learn more about this condition, read here.

Some people who are infected with the virus that causes cold sores do not develop any symptoms, but they can still be contagious to other people even without blisters. Other people who have signs and symptoms include the following:

  • The affected person can feel itchiness, burning or tingling feeling in the areas around the lips for one or two prior to the eruption of the blisters.
  • Small blisters that are filled with fluid will erupt along the edges of the exterior perimeter of the lips near the skin but the blisters can also happen around the areas of the cheeks or the nose.
  • The small blisters merge and cause them to burst and leaving shallow open sores that will ooze out fluids and forms a crust.
  • For people who experience a cold sore for the first time, they can have symptoms such as a headache, fever, sore throat, aches in the muscle, and swelling lymph nodes.
  • Children ages 4 to 5 can have cold sores happen inside the mouth and the lesions can be mistaken as canker sores. Children can spread the virus to the fingers or the areas around the eyes.
Cold sore

The affected person can feel itchiness, burning or tingling feeling in the areas around the lips for one or two prior to the eruption of the blisters.

Causes of cold sores

  • Menstruation and stress
  • Fever and fatigue
  • Exposure to the sun

Treatment and home remedies

  • Take an over-the-counter cream for cold sores and applied regularly to minimize the outbreak for a few hours.
  • Some over-the-counter preparations that contain a drying agent such as alcohol can help in the healing of cold sores.
  • Apply ice compress or washcloths that is soaked in cold water and applied to the blisters can help in minimizing the symptoms.
  • Lip balms that contain one percent of lemon extract can also help in the healing and to prevent recurrence of the condition.
  • Eating foods rich in amino acid such as lysine and these include vegetables, fish, beans, chicken and turkey.
  • If the cold sore is caused by stress, try relaxing techniques such as deep-breathing exercises and meditation.

Prevention

In order to prevent a cold sore, avoid skin contact with other people who are infected with cold sores and blisters are still present. Virus can spread easily through a moist secretion from the blisters. Avoid touching any parts of the body particularly the eyes and the genital areas. Avoid sharing of personal belongings like towels, lip balms, utensils and other items can cause spreading of the virus when blisters are present. Wash the hands carefully before touching anybody if infected with cold sores.

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