- Cold Sore

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Cold Sore PDF Print E-mail

A cold sore is a small, reddish, blister-like formation found usually on the outer edge of the lip. They may appear one at a time like a pimple on the lip or in little bunches or groups. They may feel a little itchy or painful and they are sometimes filled with fluid. These sores usually dry up and become crusted. After 1-2 weeks, it heals by itself but form scab on the lip before it totally goes away. These sores are caused by a virus called Herpes Simplex HSV-1 (different from the STD Herpes virus HSV-2). It is a very common virus that a person can easily get from kissing another person with cold sore or even when just sharing a drinking glass or utensil. Children who get infected with Herpes Simplex 1 may get cold sores occasionally for the rest of their lives. This is because the virus stays in the body and comes out again to cause cold sores especially when the personís immune system is down. If you are about to have a cold.

What Can you do?

If you notice small itchy blisters starting to appear on your lip and you feel that you are about to develop a cold sore, consult your dentist immediately because he/she may give you a prescription cream (Acyclovir) that may help stop its progression. Some may find it a bit embarrassing having cold sores especially when it is on its crusty stage, so the best way is to stop it while itís still in its early stages.

  • If you already have a cold sore, avoid infecting another person. This can be done by avoiding the following:

  1. Kissing
  2. Sharing a drinking glass, straw and utensils
  3. Sharing towels, napkins, hankies, etc..
  4. Anyway that may facilitate transfer of saliva to another person
  • Wash your hands regularly to avoid infecting others and other parts of your body like your eyes and fingers

  • Do not touch or pick the blisters/crusts because it may delay the healing process.

  • Over the counter pain-killers will help relieve discomfort. It may also help if you wrap a piece of ice with a cloth and apply on the sore to relieve pain and discomfort.

  • Rest and drink lots of fluids.

What can your dentist do?

  • The dentist may prescribe a prescription cream (Acyclovir) and possibly pain relievers if needed.
  • Try to ask your dentist additional information about the Herpes Simplex Type 1 virus

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