What are Cold Sores ?
Cold Sores are a common condition that cause a sore or blister to form on the face, usually around the lip area, that last between 1 and 2 weeks and can be very painful.
The condition is caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus, which, once contracted, lies dormant in the upper part of the nerve and often becomes active when the body is under abnormal stress, run down or currently fighting another infection.
Although it is more common for the condition to occur when the body is run down – which is why Cold Sores are often associated with colds – they can happen any time.
The Herpes Simplex virus is transmitted by touch – typically kissing – but can be passed via the fingers after they have come in contact with the sore.
It is important not to pick at the sore as the virus can be transmitted to other parts of the body and if the hands are then not washed to other people.
The effects of cold sores stretch far beyond the painful blisters. Many sufferers have serious social discomfort cause by the condition.
Stigmatism surrounding Cold sores due to their physical appearance and contagious nature will cause many people to lose of self-esteem, withdraw from social interaction and often feel social humiliation.
Although the actual number is not know it is widely acknowledged that a substantial number of work days are lost to cosmetic illnesses each year.
Cold Sore Treatments
Top Do’s & Don’ts
- Do – Cover it with a protective petroleum-based product as this will help to speed healing.
- Do – Change your toothbrush as it can harbor the virus.
- Do – Use sun screen on out break areas as sunlight can often trigger a sore.
- Do – Consult a Doctor if you get bad or frequent out breaks.
- Don’t – Pick at the sore this can spread it to other parts of the body.
- Don’t – Kiss anybody while you have a Cold Sore… Sorry!
- Don’t – Get stressed, this can trigger Cold Sores and slow their healing.
- Don’t – Suffer. Get an antiviral medicine such as Zovirax and get rid of it sooner.
Pharmacy Products Antiviral creams such as Zovirax can be used to help fight the virus even before it causes the sore. There are many products on the market that are designed for this condition.