Where do cold sores come from? How long do they last? These are just some of the many questions you might have as you’re picking on that cold sore; which you should avoid doing. Find quick and easy to understand answers right here. Click the link for the question you’d like answered to instantly jump to the answer.
Where do They Come From?
Fever blisters, or cold sores are manifested as tiny groups of blisters found on the mouth or lips. It is a painful infection of blisters that are sore, red, and swollen. The blisters contain a clear fluid which leaks when there is breakage, forming a scab. On its own it goes away after a couple of days or weeks.
So where exactly do they come from then? The main cause of cold sores is actually a virus and you got infected at some point (maybe even a while back). The sure symptoms like the blisters don’t always appear right away because they sometimes stay dormant for a bit.
What Virus Causes Cold Sores?
HSV-1, or the herpes simplex virus, is the culprit behind cold sores. This virus is a family member of HSV-2, the main cause of genital herpes. Since it is a virus, it is highly contagious. It can easily spread through contact with the virus, or surfaces/areas contaminated with the virus.
The virus will enter the body through a break, or cut in the skin. Some common ways it can spread include:
- Touching a cold sore
- Sharing razor blades
- Sharing eating utensils
- Any other ways that include making contact with infected fluid (like saliva and blood)
Now that you know what virus causes cold sores, and where they come from, take care to avoid spreading it to others.
Should I be Worried?
Cold sores are so common, almost 90% of adults around the world test positive for the virus that causes them. Some of these individuals may have to put up with recurring breakouts; while others may never experience, or show any symptoms at all.
Some things that can trigger flare-ups of cold sores include:
- too much sun exposure
- hormonal imbalances,
How Long Does a Cold Sore Last?
A cold sore, even when left untreated goes away on its own. The duration of stay varies from one person to another but usually heal after a couple of days at the least and 2 weeks at the most. However, even when the cold sores leave, it does not mean that it’s gone forever. Once infected, the virus stays in the system for your entire lifetime. You are prone to breakouts every now and then, more so in the presence of triggers that can set them on. There are treatments available to lessen the frequency and severity of cold sores.
How do I go About Preventing a Cold Sore?
There are measures that can help to prevent you from getting infected with the virus. To increase your chances of successfully prevent cold sores, take the time to read through this page, and what causes it.
- Staying away from infected people
- Never share common household items with infected people such as razors, drinking cups or eating utensils. Coming in contact with body fluids of an infected person is the quickest way for the virus to enter your body.
Can Cold Sores be Cured?
There is no known cure for an HSV infection. It may go away, but that’s not because you are cured. What actually happens when it goes away is it becomes dormant; but it still remains in your system. It will pop up again every now and then.
While there is no cure, there are medications and various home remedies you can use. They don’t get rid of the virus itself, but they are meant to quickly heal cold sores and even potentially delay their return.
How Would Doctors Treat Cold Sores?
There is no cure for cold sores but doctors do recommend using topical otc cold sore medicine as well as oral medications to alleviate the pain. The most common topical treatment is Abreva which quickly alleviates the pain and heal the cold sore. Healing is quicker when it is applied several times a day.
Oral medications such as antiviral medicines are also prescribed. Some of the popular prescriptions include valacyclovir, acyclovir, and famciclovir. These oral medications are very effective when taken during the first 48 hours of infection. Of the three, it is valacyclovir who is recommended the most. It may be more expensive than the other two but it is more reliable because it is easily absorbed by the digestive tract.
Are There any Homeopathic Remedies for Cold Sores?
What if you don’t want to use otc cold sore medicine, nor do you want to visit the doctor? Is there anything that you can try on your own? Fortunately, the answer is yes.
There are natural homeopathic remedies for cold sores you can use to ease the pain and help heal faster. Recently, these remedies have become more popular because people have found them to be effective, inexpensive, and they are easily available.
Do you have any other question that wasn’t on this list? Let me know in the comments below. Perhaps you can help out some of the other readers by providing some additional info that was covered here. If you do, please help them out in the comments. I hope you were able to find answers to questions you might have had like, “where do cold sores come from”.