Cold Sores

Cold Sores - Q&A
by Denny Bodoh

What are cold sores?

Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are both oral herpes outbreaks. Cold sores are groups of small blisters normally on the edge of the lip or nose. Swollen and inflamed, the blisters break open and merge together, creating a large open sore. A cold sore will weep a clear fluid, and then scab over after a few days. Complete healing may take 3 to 4 weeks.

What Causes Cold Sores?

The root cause of cold sores, fever blisters, or any form of oral herpes is the cloning process of the herpes simplex virus type 1 or 2. Other types of herpes cause such closely related diseases as mono, chicken pox and shingles. The herpes virus cannot reproduce itself. It is a parasite that needs a host cell. When active, the herpes virus will enter a nerve cell on the surface of your face and turn the cell into a virus factory. The cell is forced to create exact copies of the virus. Then the original virus destroys the cell to release all the new herpes virus. It is the millions of destroyed cells close together that create the unsightly weeping ulcer.

How dangerous are cold sores?

Cold sores, fortunately, only occur on the surface of your skin where you can easily get at them with topical remedies. However, cold sores are extremely contagious. In fact, they are dangerously so. You are contagious during the entire cold sore event - from the first itching until the skin is totally healed. During this period your saliva, and even vaginal fluids, may contain herpes virus. This is why doctors generally do not like to deliver babies vaginally if you have an active cold sore on your lip.

The weeping fluid is teaming with active herpes virus and is most responsible for spreading cold sores. How dangerous are cold sores? If you spread the virus to your eyes, you can damage or lose your vision. You can easily spread this disease to other people or other parts of your own body. Yes, even below the waist. If you have a cut on your finger, and touch the cold sore, you can get reoccurring cold sores on your finger. These are particularly painful.

How do I get rid of cold sores?

To protect yourself and your loved ones, you want to take steps to reduce the frequency of - or totally prevent - your cold sores. And if you do get one, to heal it as quickly as possible. I'm sure you've already discovered that the cold sore remedies at the store do not prevent cold sores nor do they heal them fast. Experts agree that these are primarily comfort treatments. A few home remedies that I have seen folks have some success with are lysine, essential oils, Aloe Vera, tea bags, and, of course, ice cubes in a plastic bag. You will need to experiment. For some reason, what works great for one, does not work as well for another.

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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 sores...
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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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WEB MD SITE

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Disclaimer : The text presented on these pages is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified health care provider. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions or concerns. 2005 - 2011 be-cold-sore-free.com

Cold Sores -  by Denny Bodoh