“When I get a cold sore, I put Carmex on it, because Carmex is supposed to alleviate cold sores. I don't know if it does help, but it will make them shinier and more noticeable. It's like cold-sore-highlighter. Maybe they could come up with an arrow that heals cold sores.”— Mitch Hedberg
It is a disease in which inflamed blisters are present in or near the mouth part. It is caused due to the infection with the herpes simplex virus. It takes two to four weeks to recover without removing scar. It may form a group of patches together. It spreads by close contact of infected area to other people such as kissing. Antiviral medicines were given to the patient for recovery and healing.
Causes of cold sore are mainly the infection through the virus herpes simplex however some other things have also been proven to cause the disease. Some of the other causes of cold sores are the following:
- Viral infections
- Exposure to wind
- Exposure to sun
- Changes in the immune system
- Hormonal changes such as related to menstruation
There are some symptoms of cold sore and if you experience them there is a chance that you are infected by the virus. The most common indicators of the cold sore are the following:
- Painful eroded gums
- Sore throat
- Muscle ache
- Swollen lymph nodes
The people who have a weak immune system have more chances to be affected by this disease as compared to those which have a stronger immune system and there are many other risk factors that contribute to the spreading of this disease. Some of the significant risk factors are the following:
- HIV/ AIDS
- Severe burning
- Cancer chemotherapy
- Anti-rejection drugs for transplant
As we know that this is a viral disease so it spreads from close physical contact of one person to another so we should take some precautionary measures to stay safe from this disease. Some of the effective precautionary measures are mentioned below:
- Avoid skin to skin contact with infected people.
- Avoid sharing accessories that come in physical contact such as towel, lipstick etc.
- Keep your hands clean by washing them often and using a sanitizer.
We highly recommend that you consult a health care practitioner for the treatment of cold sores in case your condition is very severe. There are some common things that you can do for relief. We have mentioned them below:
- Use cold compress
- Use painkillers
- Use over the counter creams
- Use AloeVera gel
- Don’t touch the infected part
- Use lip balms
- Stress reduction
- Ibuprofen and acetaminophen
When to visit a doctor
Cold sore normally recovers without going to the doctor again and again but if you have these problems that we have discussed below, you should consult to your doctor.
- When you have a weak immune system.
- When symptoms are severe.
- When a cold sore is not treated in two weeks.
- You feel irritation in eyes.
- You have cold sore frequently.
Complications occur mostly when cold sore affects other body parts because it can be very problematic and dangerous. Some of the complications that people go through are the following:
- When it affects your eyes and causes poor vision and blindness.
- When it weakens your immune system and then it affects the brain and spinal cord.
Fingertips spread this infection by contacting other parts of your body or to others. Make sure that you try your best to avoid physical contact of the infected area with other parts of your body or with other people to prevent the spread of the disease.