Cold sores

Overview

Cold sores are also referred to as fever blisters. The most common cause of cold sores is the the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). You can get this from contact with an infected person’s skin or body fluids. This virus can damage your skin and leave behind sores that last about a week. Since HSV-1lives inside the nerve cells, it cannot be completely cured. A trigger can bring it out of hiding and cause cold sores. The triggers can include, exposure to sunlight, fever, stress or even getting your period. In most cases, cold sores are a monthly ordeal.

It is tough to prevent them from happening completely, but the chances can be reduced by taking the following precautions:

Stay out of the sun

Learn what the triggers are and avoid them

Don’t share toothbrushes, silverware or glasses

Use UV blocking lip balm and sunscreen

Learn how to manage your stress

Keep your immune system healthy

Get plenty of sleep and exercise daily

See a doctor if: 

Your immune system is weak

The cold sores last longer than 2 weeks

Your eyes are irritated

You experience severe and frequent outbreaks

The first outbreak can last up to 2 weeks whereas the following outbreaks may last only a week. There is no cure for cold sores but over the counter creams and gels ease the pain.

Still feeling sick?​

Schedule an appointment with Bonum Health and consult a doctor online within minutes, via phone or video chat.