What can I do about my Cold Sore?

by | Ask The Intern

What you need to know about your Cold Sore

Cold sores are caused by a virus known as herpes simplex one virus (HSV 1). It occurs in childhood and young adults but can follow a person through out their life with recurrent outbreaks in the same or similar location (usually lips)

What are the symptoms of a Cold Sore?

The signs and symptoms of a Cold Sore include:

  • Usually on or near the lip. On occasion found on the cheek near the mouth
  • Can start or reoccur in the same place.
  • Can start with a tingling sensation and soreness feeling before the sore actually develops.
  • Activated by stress, fever, seasonal change, other illnesses.

How did I get a Cold Sore?

Cold sores are caused by a herpes virus that is spread by droplets found in the lip blisters. The virus lives in the nerve (neuron) and for this reason can reoccur in the same or similar location. The body has a response to fever or stress that releases cytokine called interleukin 1 and a cascade of effects in the immune system that can reactivate the herpes virus and trigger a cold sore. Flare-ups can occur at any time and are triggered by things like stress, hormonal fluctuations, surgery, fevers, illness, or sun exposure. But while they can be unavoidable, there are a few things you can do to calm or shorten the duration of a cold sore outbreak.

How can we get over a cold sore fast?

Doctors treat your cold sore with antiviral medications when it is determined to be necessary. These antiviral medicines (valacyclovir or acyclovir) work very well and have for many years. Telemedicine is a great place to get started on a careful examination of your skin. Quite often uploaded photos of high quality can help the Doctor treat you cold sore by telemedicine.

You may want to try these home remedies, but be aware that they may not help everyone. Prescription antiviral medications are proven to be much more effective for both treatment and prevention of cold sore outbreaks. Home Remedies include: 1. Lemon Balm 2. OTC anti-viral medication containing docosanol or benzyl alcohol and lysine 3. Ice 4. Aloe Vera 5. Sunscreen.

We can follow along with you over a few days and see if home remedies work, but the antivirals work best if started early.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526068/

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