If you see or feel small blisters on your lip and/or around your mouth you could very well have a fever blister or cold sore. Examine the reddened area. You may find small blisters that are cracked or leaking a clear fluid and then, hopefully, scab over in just a few days. Medically, they are known to heal in 10-14 days.
I know some of this is going to sound scary, but it’s important to know.
These uncomfortable infections are caused by the Herpes simplex virus, medically referred to as HSV-1. Our lips have thin layered tissue that lubricates and moistens the lip skin through a mucous membrane that is part of our lip tissue. That is the area most affected.
Now about the Herpes virus, it isn’t quite as simple as I’m describing as there are actually two forms of Herpes involved; HSV-1 and HSV-2. Cold sores and fever blisters are most commonly caused by HSV-1. Now, for some that may sound scary as HSV-2 is the primary cause of genital Herpes.
It is important to note that both viruses are transmitted by direct contact. Typically this is done by touching another person’s open sore or through direct sexual contact with an infected person.
I know you’re feeling a little concerned now as you fear your infected areas could be transferring HSV-2, or genital Herpes. Well, you can relax; they are two different viruses, although they are members of the same family. By example the Herpes family includes chickenpox and shingles. HSV-2 is the primary cause of genital Herpes although it is known that HSV-1 can cause genital Herpes. Studies suggest, however, that HSV-1 infections that cause genital Herpes are rare.
Amazingly most of us have both of these viruses already living within our bodies. So, it’s life. We simply learn to live with them. Click Here! to learn more.
An infection may cause only a small or single outbreak of sores that linger for a couple of weeks and then go away. Unpredictably, in many cases the virus lingers and may produce several outbreaks. It is now known that stress, sunlight, fatigue or even another infection in the body such as a cold or flu bug can trigger the HSV-1 virus to become active. That’s where the term ‘cold sore’ became descriptive of the infection.
Your first symptom of typically starts with a slight pain around your mouth and lips, sometimes a slight fever or sore throat and possibly swollen glands in parts of your body. Small children sometimes drool when an infection is developing. Typically infected areas crack or break open leaking a clear liquid and then scab over after 10-14 days. The process can be very painful for some people.
Do cold sores or fever blisters affect everyone? The answer is no. The HSV-1 virus is possibly resident in every person but remains dormant for most.
You may now be asking how to treat this condition? Typically treatment consists of ointments, skin creams and sometimes medication. The right treatment can reduce the pain and accelerate the healing process by several days.
You may ask if there’s a cure for infections caused by a HSV-1 or HSV-2. Sadly, there is no cure. After you have been infected the virus remains in your body for your lifetime.
I know that wasn’t what you wanted to hear, but the good part is there are some things you can do to avoid infection by Herpes Simplex Virus 1 or 2. Avoid coming into contact with bodily fluids of a person already infected, such as kissing a person infected. Avoid using the same eating utensils or drinking cups that an infected person has used.
Now, there are some things you can do to help in preventing spread of the virus. First, take care of yourself and avoid fatigue that sometimes leads to colds and flu. When you’re outdoors always use some form of lip ice or lip balm and sunscreen on your face. Believe it or not too much sunlight will sometimes cause cold sores to resurface. Avoid sharing such things as razors, toothbrushes, towels, silverware or other objects that a person with a fever blister might have used. Wash your hands frequently whether you are infected or trying to avoid becoming infected.
Be sure to talk with your Doctor and in the event you have continuing outbreaks you might consider asking for a prescription medication that may prevent outbreaks. Click Here! for lots more information and the cure.
Cold sores and fever blisters can be extremely painful. We have written about good things to know that can minimize the pain. http://howtotreatcoldsores.org/cold-sore-stages/ where we provide valuable information on this malady.
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