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Cold sore : Introduction , Causes , Symptoms , Risk Factors , Preventions


Cold sores — also called fever blisters — are a standard 
virus infection . They are tiny, fluid-filled blisters on and around your lips. These blisters are often grouped together in patches. After the blisters break, a scab forms that can last several days. Cold sores usually heal in two to 3 weeks without leaving a scar.

Cold sores spread from person to person by close contact, like 
kissing. They're usually caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), and less commonly herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Both of those viruses can affect your mouth or genitals and may be spread by head . Cold sores are contagious albeit you do not see the sores.

There's no cure for cold sores, but treatment can help manage outbreaks. Prescription antiviral pills or creams can help sores heal more quickly. And they may reduce the frequency, length and severity of future outbreaks.


A cold sore usually passes through several stages:


Ø     Tingling and itching. Many people feel itching, burning or tingling round the lips for each day approximately before alittle , hard, painful spot appears and blisters erupt.

Ø     Blisters. Small fluid-filled blisters typically erupt along the border of your lips. Sometimes they seem round the nose or cheeks or inside the mouth.

Ø    Oozing and crusting. The small blisters may merge then burst, leaving shallow open sores that ooze and crust over.

Signs and symptoms vary, counting on 
whether this is often your first outbreak or a recurrence. The first time you've got a chilly sore, symptoms might not start for up to twenty days after you were first exposed to the virus. The sores can last several days, and therefore the blisters can take two to 3 weeks to heal completely. Recurrences typically appear at an equivalent spot whenever and have a tendency to be less severe than the primary outbreak.

When to see a doctor

Cold sores generally clear up without treatment. See your doctor if:


Ø  You have a weakened immune system

Ø  The cold sores don't heal within two weeks

Ø  Symptoms are severe

Ø  You have frequent recurrences of cold sores

Ø  You experience irritation in your eyes


Cold sores are caused by certain strains of the herpes simplex virus (HSV). HSV-1 usually causes cold sores. HSV-2 is usually responsible for genital herpes. But either type can spread to the face or genitals through close contact, like 
kissing or head . Shared eating utensils, razors and towels may additionally spread HSV-1.

Cold sores are most contagious when you have oozing blisters because the virus easily spreads through contact with infected body fluids. But you can spread the virus even if you don't have blisters. Many people who are infected with the virus that causes cold sores never develop signs and symptoms.

Once you've had an episode of herpes infection, the virus lies dormant in nerve cells in your skin and should 
emerge as another oral herpes at an equivalent place as before. Recurrence may be triggered by:


Ø  Viral infection or fever

Ø  Hormonal changes, such as those related to menstruation

Ø  Stress

Ø  Fatigue

Ø  Exposure to sunlight and wind

Ø  Changes in the immune system

Ø  Injury to the skin

Risk factors

Almost everyone is at risk of cold sores. Most adults carry the virus that causes cold sores, albeit 
they've never had symptoms.

You're most at risk of complications from the virus if you have a weakened immune system from conditions and treatments such as:



Ø  Atopic dermatitis (eczema)

Ø  Cancer chemotherapy

Ø  Anti-rejection drugs for organ transplants


Your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication for you to require 
on a daily basis if you develop cold sores quite ninefold a year or if you're at high risk of serious complications. If sunlight seems to trigger your recurrences, apply sunblock to the spot where the oral herpes tends to erupt. Or talk with your doctor about using an oral antiviral drug as a preventive if you expect to be doing an activity that tends to trigger your condition, such as intense sunlight exposure.

To help avoid spreading cold sores to people 
or to other parts of your body, you would possibly try a number of the subsequent precautions:


Ø     Avoid kissing and skin contact with people while blisters are present. The virus spreads most easily when the blisters leak fluid.

Ø     Avoid sharing items. Utensils, towels, ointment and other personal items can spread the virus when blisters are present.

Ø     Keep your hands clean. When you have a chilly sore, wash your hands carefully before touching yourself and people , especially babies.



Notice: Please consult your doctor before following any instruction of

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