What is Cold Sore? Its causes and symptoms?
Common viral infections include cold sores, also known as fever blisters. These are small, fluid-filled blisters that form around the lips. These blisters can often be found in clusters. A scab can last for several days. The majority of cold sores heal within two to three days without leaving scarring.
Cold sores can spread by contact such as kissing. Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), but less often herpes virus type 2 (HSV-2), are the most common causes. These viruses can cause severe infections in your mouth and genitals. They can also be transmitted by oral sex. Even if you don’t see them, cold sores can spread to others.
Although cold sores are not curable, treatment can be used to manage them. Sores may heal faster with prescription antiviral creams or pills. They may also reduce the severity, duration, and frequency of future outbreaks.
Signs and Symptoms of Cold Sore: A cold sore typically goes through multiple stages
- Itching and tingling: A few days before a painful, small, red, tender spot appears
- Blisters: These small, fluid-filled blisters usually form along your lips border. They may appear in the chees, around the nose, or inside the mouth.
- Crumbing and oozing
The severity of your symptoms will vary depending on whether you have a previous outbreak or a recurrence. Cold sores can occur up to 20 days after the initial exposure.
The sores may last for several days and can take up to two to three weeks to heal. The recurrences are more common in the same area and usually less severe than the initial outbreak.
Causes of Cold Sore:
Cold sores can be caused by certain strains of the herpes simplex virus also known as HSV. HSV Cold sores are usually caused by -1 whereas HSV Genital herpes is usually caused by genital herpes type -2.
Either type can be spread through close contact such as kissing touching the ski or oral sex, sharing eating utensils or razors can also lead to the spread of these diseases. Cold sores can be contagious if you have blisters.
The virus spreads easily through contact with infected bodily fluids. Even if you haven’t got blisters, you can still spread the virus. Many people infected by the virus that causes cold sores don’t develop symptoms.
After a herpes episode, the virus is still present in the nerve cells of your skin. It then resurfaces as a cold sore.
Your physician may recommend an antiviral medicine to be taken regularly if you suffer from cold stores more than nine times per year. Or if you are at an increased risk of serious complications. If exposure to sunlight is triggered the recurrence of your condition applies sunblock to the area in which the cold sores tend to pop out.
Consult your doctor about the possibility of taking an oral antiviral medication to help prevent your condition when you anticipate engaging in an activity that could be liable to cause your condition, like exposure to sunlight that is intense.
To prevent spreading cold sores to other areas in your body consider the following measures:
- Avoid touching or kissing with others when the blisters are visible. The virus is most easily spread when the blisters release fluid.
- Avoid sharIng items, towels, lip balm, and many other personal items that could cause infection if blisters appear.
- Make sure your hands are clean. If you’ve got an open sore that is cold take your time washing your hands before touching other people, especially when you are touching your children.
Cold sores are more infectious when they rupture but they are infectious until they are fully healed. Avoid contact with other people until the sore you’ve contracted cold has fully healed and gone away.
Complications for Cold Sore
In Certain people, the virus responsible for cold sores can lead to problems in different areas of the body such as:
- Fingertips: The Viruses HSV-1 and HSV-2 can transmit to fingers. This kind of infection is usually known as herps-whitlow. Children who chew their thumbs can transmit the infection from their mouth to their thumbs.
- Eyes: The virus can cause an eye infection. Infections that are repeated can result in damage and scarring that can cause vision problems as well as loss of visual vision
- Skin with a wide range of problems. Patients with a skin condition known as atopic dermatitis are at a higher chance of having cold sores spread across their entire body. It can be an emergency medical situation.