How to Treat Cold Sores by Peter hutch
Cold sores are painful, fluid-filled tiny blisters that appear on the lips and around the nose. They usually appear in association with a cold-hence the name. It is caused by one of two highly contagious viruses:Herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2. When the body is stressed, or its immune system is compromised, the body becomes an easy attack of this virus.
The first episode of cold sores can be so painful that you may have difficulty eating, drinking, and sleeping. A child who has a fever and many mouth sores may need to be encouraged to drink water and other fluids to prevent dehydration.
Adults and older children who have a painful first episode of cold sores may sometimes need a prescription-strength medicated mouth rinse to reduce pain.
Also, good hand washing when a sore is present will help prevent the spread of the infection and will also help prevent the sore from becoming infected with bacteria, which may make the sore last longer.
Skin protectants and lip moisturizers with allantoin, dimethicone, cocoa butter, white petrolatum or glycerin provide moisturization to keep the cold sore moist as well as a mechanical barrier to guard the skin and lips from irritants
Cold sores â" also called fever blisters â" are quite different from canker sores, a condition people sometimes associate them with. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus, and they're contagious. Canker sores, which aren't contagious, are ulcers that occur in the soft tissues inside your mouth, places where cold sores don't occur.
Suppression therapy, taking medication every day to prevent outbreaks, is not yet FDA-approved. Studies have shown that people who have more than six recurrences or more per year can benefit from taking acyclovir 400 mg twice daily by reducing the number of recurrences and decreasing viral shedding. Other possibilities are famciclovir 250 mg twice a day or valacyclovir 500 mg once a day.
Cold sores will usually start to heal on their own within a few days. But if they cause pain or make you feel embarrassed, they can be treated. Treatment may include skin creams, ointments, or sometimes pills. Treatment may get rid of the cold sores only 1 to 2 days faster, but it can also help ease painful blisters or other uncomfortable symptoms.
If your cold sores are particularly severe, or you have a damaged immune system (which can be caused by factors such as undergoing chemotherapy, or having HIV), you may be at risk of further complications, including encephalitis (swelling of the brain) or a spread of your infection to other parts of your body, such as your eyes.
After the initial attack there is a strong chance that later instances will not be as severe and may also reoccur less frequently. Some sufferers who have recurring cold sores claim to feel a tingling or slight itching of their lip 1 or 2 days before the blister appears. This can be really beneficial to help stop, or slow down the effects the cold sore before it gets established. Usually the application of a topical treatment is essential if you feel a cold sore forming.
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Article Source: http://www.earticlesonline.com/Article/How-to-Treat-Cold-Sores/339031
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