Define cold sore

A cold sore is a group of small, painful blisters caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). They are also called fever blisters or simple cold sore. Up to 90% of people worldwide have at least one form of HSV.

The symptoms are usually the most severe the first time you have a cold sore. A cold sore for the first time can make a child very ill. After the first outbreak, your body should form antibodies and you may never have an infection again. However, cold sore came back to many people again and again.

Cold sore symptom

Cold sores are more likely to appear on the outside of the mouth and lips, but they can also occur on the nose and cheeks. You can get a cold sore for up to 20 days after infection. The wound may appear near where the virus penetrated your body.

Cold sores occur in phases:

You may also have red or swollen gums, swollen glands in the neck, fever or muscle aches.

First-time infections can also cause:

Burning and pain inside the mouth

Common causes of cold sore

You get HSV when you come in contact with people or things that carry the virus. For example, you can catch it by kissing someone who has the virus or by sharing silverware, towels or razors.

Certain things can trigger an outbreak, including:

Risk factors for cold sore

Cold sore is generally not serious, but the infection can be life-threatening for a person who has a weakened immune system due to AIDS, another condition, or medication.

If you have a severe case of a skin condition called eczema, you may have cold sores on large parts of your body.

Diagnosis of cold sore

Your doctor can diagnose a cold sore just by looking at the blisters. They can also clean the blister and test the fluid for HSV.

Cold sore treatment

There is no cure for cold sores. The virus stays in your body, once you have a cold sore. The wounds themselves usually heal on their own within 1 to 2 weeks.

Antiviral drugs can speed up healing, especially if you take them at the first sign of an outbreak. Your doctor may tell you to use:

Cream applied to the wounds. Acyclovir (Zovirax) and penciclovir (Denavir) must be prescribed or you can get docosanol (Abreva) without a prescription.

Medicines are injected into your bloodstream (called intravenous or IV) if you have a severe case, such as cidofovir (Vistide) or foscarnet (Foscavir).

Some home remedies can help you feel better while you recover:

Complications of cold sore

Complications from a cold sore are rare, but can occur if the virus spreads to another part of your body, including yours:

Cold sore prevention

To reduce your risk of another cold sore:

What are skin disorders? Briefly describe all about it.

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