Active Stages of a Cold Sore
by Denny Bodoh
Cold sore stages occur in specific order beginning with
the initial itching stage to the final healing. During this time, you are
considered contagious and must use caution. During some of the stages, you
will be more contagious than others. Let's take a look at the different cold
Prodrome Stage of a Cold Sore:
Normally the herpes virus is latent - hiding in the nerve cells in the nerve
ganglia, where the various nerves come together. When conditions are right,
the herpes virus wakes up and begins its journey to the surface along the
nerve fibers. This movement and arrival at the surface causes the target
area to begin to feel irritated and itchy. You may also feel a burning or
dryness sensation. Your cold sore could be only one to two days away
at this point.
Inflammation Stage of a Cold Sore:
This is the beginning of the herpes virus reproductive cycle. Once the virus
reaches the surface, each one infects a nerve cell and starts forcing the
cell to create copies of the invading virus. This causes swelling and
redness at the cold sore site. Cold sore vesicles appear at this stage of a
cold sore. These vesicles are tiny, hard, pimple like red bumps that are
sometimes mistaken for acne type pimples. There is no relationship between
cold sores and pimples.
Open sore stage of a cold sore:
Of all the cold sore stages, this is the stage people remember. This is the
most unsightly, painful and contagious period of the cold sore stages. All
the vesicles now break open and merge together to create one big open,
weeping ulcer. Depending on how severe this outbreak is for you, you may
have headaches, fever and swollen glands under your jawbone. The clear fluid
that weeps from this sore is teeming with new virus and is extremely
contagious and dangerous. You can spread this virus to other parts of your
body with contaminated fingers or towels. If you get it in your eye, you can
cause vision loss or blindness. The virus can live on objects like faucet
handles for a day or two. Use extreme caution.
Crusting Stage of a Cold Sore:
Now you begin to mend as your cold sore develops a yellowish crust or scab.
This is still a painful and very contagious period of your cold sore stages.
The scab cracks when you eat or move your mouth causing pain. Keeping it
oiled with olive oil or tea tree oil helps keep it flexible and less likely
to crack. There is still fluid under the scab which you will see ooze out
when the scab cracks. The sore is healing under the scab and is very
irritating. Applying ice can give you blessed relief at this time.
Final Post-Scab Healing stage of a cold sore:
The scab has fallen off now. Your swollen glands should be just about back
to normal. Your skin may still appear reddish and feel irritated. Healing is
still going on under the new skin. Use caution as you are still contagious
and the cold sore could return for an encore presentation. You are not
totally healed until the redness disappears. This part of the healing
process is very frustrating. It can take from 2 days to 14 days.
How to Shorten Your Cold Sore Stages:
Cold sore duration time varies depending on your health and your choice of
cold sore treatments. On average cold sores last about 3 weeks to 4 weeks
without treatment. The cold sore remedies that you get at the store are
primarily comfort treatments. Many have numbing agents to relief pain and
ingredients to prevent secondary infection. Also, they may have oils to keep
the scab soft. It is good to use these for the comfort they provide. But,
none have shown to speed healing by more than 2-3 days.
A little over 4 years ago I ran across a natural cold sore treatment like no
other. I thought you might want to know about too. It healed my cold
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The scenario is all
too familiar: You feel a tingling on your lip and a small, hard spot that
you can't yet see. Sure enough, in a day or two, red blisters appear on your
lip. It's another cold sore, probably happening at a bad time, and there's
no way to hide it or make it go away quickly.
Cold sores — also called fever blisters — are quite different from canker
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Cold sores, sometimes
called fever blisters, are clusters of small blisters on the lip and outer
edge of the mouth. The skin around the blisters is often red and inflamed.
The blisters can break open, weep a clear fluid, and then scab over after a
few days. Complete healing may take ...
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