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Cold Sores – Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Cold sores are small blisters which form on the lips and round the mouth and are sometimes referred to as fever blisters. The skin around the blisters swells, reddens, and develops sores. The blisters may break and drain clear fluid. The area, which leaks fluid, scabs over in a few days and may heal within 2 weeks. There are two types of herpes simplex virus- HSV-1 and HSV-2. Both of these viruses can cause sores around the mouth and on genitals.

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Causes of cold sores

Cold sores are caused by a virus known as herpes simplex or HSV and many people are infected with herpes simplex virus in childhood but they do not show any symptoms. About 90 percent of adults have herpes simplex antibodies in bloodstream and this means that they have been infected with the virus. The primary or first infection of herpes simplex virus may not cause any symptoms.

About one third of those infected with this virus show cold sores. People with cold cores can spread the pathogen through fluids like saliva or by getting in contact with sores. The herpes simplex virus enters the body through broken skin inside or around the mouth.

A person can be infected by sharing eating utensils, razors, kissing, or touching saliva of an infected person. A person who has the cold sore infection can spread the disease to his or her child through kissing or saliva contact. Cold sores are also able to spread to other areas of body.

Symptoms

Some of the symptoms of cold sore include presence of pain around the lips and mouth. A person may also have fever and a sore throat. In addition, glands on neck and other body parts may also became swollen. When it affects small children, they may at times drool, prior to developing the cold sores blisters.

When blisters appear, they break-open and will leak producing clear fluid and then they form a crust. The sores can also be very painful in some people. Moreover, some people do not show the symptoms though they have the virus and this means that they will not develop cold sores. Although most of the people do not show signs, they are still contagious to others.

They can spread the virus to other people even without blisters. Before blisters develop, there are several stages, which a person goes through. There is the tingling and itching and this entails a feeling of burning around the lips. This may persist for a day or two before the cold sores blisters emerge.

The other stage is the development of blisters where small fluid-filled bumps develop and break out. The other stage is oozing and crusting in which the blisters merge and burst forming an open sore, which oozes fluid and then later forms a scab. In essence, a patient with cold sores will show fever, headache, muscle aches, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes.

Treatment

When cold sores break, they begin to heal and may disappear after a few days. However, the blisters and scabs may be painful and require some treatment. You can treat the skin with creams, pills and ointments. The treatment helps eliminate the cold sores faster and eases pain and other symptoms, which are uncomfortable to bear.

However, the herpes simplex virus, which causes the cold sores, is not curable. When a person is infected with herpes simplex virus, it stays for life. For people who develop cold sores often, they can use medication to help reduce the episodes of sores and the severity.

Prevention

To avoid contacting herpes simplex virus, there are things you can do and they include averting coming in contact with infected fluids such as kissing a person who is infected. Because people infected with this virus may not show any symptoms, it is essential you refrain from kissing anyhow.

In addition, people should refrain from sharing utensils or drinking cups, which may have been used by a person suffering from cold sore. However, if you have been infected with the virus, you are likely to develop cold sores though not always. What you need to do is to reduce the number of outbreaks of the cold sores and also avoid spreading the virus to other people.

There are things, which may trigger cold sores such as colds, and flu or stress and you need to avoid these triggers. Too much sunlight may also cause cold sore to emerge or flare up and therefore, you need to use lip balm and sunscreen on your face.

People need to avoid sharing personal items like razo

rs, towels, toothbrushes, silverware and personal items, which may have been used by a person with cold sores. If you suffer the cold sores, you should wash your hands often and avoid touching the sores. This can minimize chances of re-infecting yourself by touching the nose, eyes or other parts of the body like genitals.

Cold Sores Pictures

 

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