Cold sores, also called a Fever Blister or Herpes Simplex Type 1
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.
Fever blisters are highly contagious ...
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.
Treatment / Home Care
Cold sore blisters usually heal in a week by themselves. The following may help relieve some of the symptoms:
- Apply ice to the sore
- Take L-lysine tablets
- Aloe: One study found that using an aloe cream reduced the average time for healing from 12 days to 5, and that herpes lesions were 10 times more likely to be completely healed within 10 days with aloe treatment, compared to a placebo. Aloe gel is also useful for treating genital herpes.
- Grape Seeds / Grape Seed Extract: One of the most potent antioxidants known, with tests indicating that it is fifty times more powerful than Vitamin E. In humans, it has been used to treat varicose veins, eye problems, arthritis, allergies, heart conditions, Attention Deficit Disorder, cancers, and viral diseases such as herpes.
- Please also refer to: Home Remedies for Cold Sores - Cold Sores Alleviation by: Dr. John Anne
- Anti-viral medications may be recommended by your doctor. Some experts feel that they shorten the time that the blisters are present, while others claim that these drugs make no difference.
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