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Author Topic: Cold Sores  (Read 328 times)

Demisam

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Cold Sores
« on: April 03, 2018, 01:00:18 pm »
              Cold Sores
Cold sores are red, fluid-filled blisters that appear near the mouth or on other areas of the face. In rare cases, cold sores may appear on the fingers, nose, or inside the mouth. There is no cure for cold sores, and infections tend to reoccur without warning. Sores are contagious and may persist for more than one week.

What Causes Cold Sores?

Herpes simplex type 1 virus usually causes cold sores, and herpes simplex type 2 virus generally causes genital herpes. The actual sores are similar in appearance for both forms of the virus.

It is possible (though rare) for herpes simplex type 1 to cause sores on the genitals, and for herpes simplex type 2 to cause sores on the mouth.

Visible sores are contagious, but herpes may be spread even when sores canít be seen. You can catch the herpes simplex virus by coming in contact with infected individuals. This may happen through kissing, sharing cosmetics, or sharing food. Oral sex may spread both cold sores and genital herpes.

Reinfection

Once you catch herpes simplex virus, it canít be cured. Even after sores have healed, the virus remains dormant in your nerve cells, and new cold sores can appear at any time. Some affected patients report more frequent outbreaks when their immune systems are weak, such as during illness or times of stress.

Treating Cold Sores

There is no cure for cold sores, but some people with herpes simplex rarely have outbreaks. If cold sores are bothersome, you may be able to control pain and promote healing with antivlral topical ointments such as acyclovir (Xerese, Zovirax) and penciclovir (Denavir). These tend to be most effective if applied when a sore first appears, and will need to be applied four to five times daily for four to five days.

Docosanol (Abreva) is an over-the-counter cream that, when applied several times daily, can shorten an outbreak by anywhere from a few hours to a day.

Oral antiviral medications include valacyclovir (Valtrex) and famciclovir (Famvir). These are available by prescription only.

There are also cold sore patches available for treating skin wounds. These patches contain a gel called hydrocolloid, and they cover the sore while it heals.

If you experience complications with cold sores, or your outbreaks are frequent, you may be prescribed antiviral medications to take regularly, regardless of whether or not you have an outbreak.

Symptoms may be eased by applying either ice or washcloths soaked in cold water to the blisters. Alternative treatments include stress-reduction techniques, taking lysine supplements, or using lip balm containing lemon extract during an outbreak.

 

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