What is a cold sore?
A cold sore, also known as herpes labialis, is a painful blister or group of open blisters which generally develop around the lip or on the lips. Cold sores are generally caused by the herpes simplex Type II virus (HSV). However, if you get cold sores, chances are, you’re not alone.
Symptoms of cold sores :
Some of the cold sore symptoms include persistent redness and swelling of the area of the lips and mouth, tenderness of the skin, a change in the way that the area of the lips or mouth feels when touched or squeezed, and the development of small blisters. You may also experience pain when eating or talking, fatigue, swelling, and changes in skin color or texture. These symptoms generally begin within a day or two after developing the cold sores and may subside over the course of a few weeks.
What causes cold sores ?
A virus called the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) is the first cause of this infection, and without it there would be no cold sores or blisters. There are over 100 types of this virus, and the strain that causes cold sores outbreaks is one of the cold sore viruses. The virus itself is very hardy and is contagious even among the most inactive people. The dormant part of the virus needs to have something to trigger it to grow into an active state in order to spread from person to person.
Most of times, people get cold sores from their partner’s infected lips. When there is an active outbreak of a cold sore, a person should avoid kissing other people, sharing personal items, and staying in close proximity with an infected person. Also, people who have a history of having herpes should practice caution and abstain from sex until they have had a confirmed cold sore outbreak. This includes oral sex.
How to prevent cold sores ?
There are some things you can do to help relieve and prevent the symptoms associated with sores. You should try to stay away from the sun especially if you frequently go outdoors during the day. You should also limit the amount of fluid you drink, since alcohol will dehydrate your body and increase the chance of your skin getting sore. Moisturizing your skin regularly can help relieve the symptoms associated with them.
It’s also important to wash your hands frequently, especially if you have recently had any contact with the herpes virus or have taken medications that contain antiviral ingredients. It’s also important to avoid personal items like lip balm that contains alcohol, since these will increase the amount of moisture in your skin and allow the herpes virus to germinate. In addition, you should also avoid contact with people that have cold sores as you can get contaminated. These simple tips can help relieve and prevent cold sores.
Home remedies for cold sores :
One of the home remedies for cold sores may sound like a lot of work but it is really not. Toothpaste can be used as a cold sore treatment. All you have to do is apply a layer of toothpaste over the area where the outbreak is. This will help to prevent the herpes simplex virus from getting through the cracks in your skin.
Another effective way to treat cold sores is by applying a tiny bit of raw honey. Leave the honey on for around five minutes. Afterwards, rinse it off with warm water. Repeat this process until the blisters go away.
Another home remedy is to apply lemon balm to the affected area. To do this, all you need to do is apply a thin layer of lemon balm on the area. It is also important to apply this only a few hours before you are going to bed.
Risk factors of cold sores :
People who have been diagnosed with STD’s before are more prone to cold sores than healthy individuals. This is because there is an increased level of active virus present in their bodies. In addition, certain medical conditions make it easier for the infection to develop, such as those related to diabetes. Also, people who are sickle cell anemia are at higher risk of cold sore outbreaks.
Other risk factors include not sticking to a regular lip balm during an active breakout. In addition, the lip balms that are used during an outbreak tend to cause the symptoms to worsen. In some individuals, fluid-filled blisters may develop on the corners of the lips, which can be painful.
Since cold sores are often caused by something that you can control, it’s also important that you take preventative measures so that you can help relieve and prevent outbreaks.