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
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
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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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