Cold sores, also known as Fever Blisters, are groups of very contagious fluid-filled blisters caused by an active herpes simplex virus infection. They often erupt around the lips and sometimes under the nose or around the chin. On occasion, they can occur on the gums and roof of the mouth (hard palate) - but that is rare.
The initial infection often occurs before adulthood. For some people, the virus remains inactive; while others suffer from periodic outbreaks. This virus is activated by conditions such as illness, trauma, fever, stress, emotional upset, skin abrasions, hormonal changes (such as menstruation), and sun exposure.
Initially, patients may experience tenderness, tingling or burning before the actual sore appears. Herpes sores usually begin as blisters and then crust over. They last about seven to ten days.
The greatest risk for spread of infection is from blister rupture until the sore is completely healed. The virus can spread to the afflicted person’s eyes and genitalia, as well as to other people.
Tips to prevent spreading fever blisters
- Avoid mucous membrane contact when a lesion is present.
- Do not squeeze, pinch or pick the blisters.
- Wash hands carefully before touching eyes, genital area or another person.
Note: Despite all caution, it is possible to transmit herpes virus even when no blisters are present.
Cold sore blisters usually heal in a week by themselves. The following may help relieve some of the symptoms:
GreenAndHealthy.Info strives to maintain accurate and up-to-date information; however, mistakes do happen. If you would like to correct or update any of the information, please send us an e-mail. THANK YOU!