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Cold Sores: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention & Treatment

Cold sores are small painful blisters. They usually show up around the lip, on the face, inside the mouth and nose. The small painful blister that is filled with fluids appears one at a time or in bunches.

Cold sores are sometimes called fever blisters. They can make you feel self-conscious because aside from being painful they are itchy. Luckily, there are ways to prevent and treat them.

What causes cold sores?

Cold sores are caused by one of the world’s common viral infection, the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). You can catch HSV from direct contact with someone who is infected with herpes virus.

When you are infected with herpes virus, the virus stays in the body permanently. The virus in the nerve takes a long snooze and become active every now and then causing cold sores to flare up. Cold sores are often brought by another factor such as:

  • Hormonal change (pregnancy and menstruation)
  • Certain foods and medicines
  • Changes in weather
  • Stress
  • Fever

What are the symptoms of cold sores?

The symptoms include:

  • Pain on the lip
  • Pain around the mouth
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen gland
  • Blisters

How to prevent cold sores?

Even though cold sore is common, it is important to keep yourself from getting this kind of infection. Here are the things that you can do to keep yourself from getting the infection.

  • Eat well
  • Get enough sleep
  • Learn how to deal with stress
  • Stay away from person with cold sores
  • Do not share eating utensils with an infected person

If you are infected with the virus, you can do the following to stop the virus from spreading and lessen the outbreak.

  • Do not touch the sores
  • Be careful when touching your eyes
  • Avoid things that trigger cold sores
  • Wash your hands often

How are cold sores treated?

There is no cure for colds sores infections. However, there are antiviral medicines and creams that can reduce the length of outbreaks as well as to relief the pain.

  • Famcyclovir – It is an antiviral medicine. It reduces the length and seriousness of outbreak. Famcyclovir can heal cold sores faster and prevent new cold sores blisters from forming.
  • Acyclovir cream (Zovirax) – It can heal sores faster. Zovirax is more effective if applied during the first outbreak sign.
  • Valacyclovir (Valtrex) – It can control the spreading of herpes virus.

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