Cold sores are small painful sores that usually appear around the mouth, tips or nose. The sores begin as swellings that regularly burst with one having to clear the fluid and after some days will coat over and often occur between 7 to 10 days to heal totally.
Cold sores are triggered by the HSV-1 (Herpes simplex virus I), which contaminate an estimate between 70 to g0 % of the population. The virus is extremely contagious which calls for the need for one to be watchful about becoming infected by someone with a cold sore as well as transmitting cold sores to other people. Once infected with the virus, it lives in the nerve cells until revived which varies among individuals. Common triggers include stress, lack of sleep, a cold, exposure to sunlight or menstruation. Cold sore causes both physical discomfort and unsightly facial blemishes.
Presently, there is no cure for cold sores, once infected with the virus. There are measures to put into place to ease the symptoms of cold sores such as reducing the discomfort or pain and guaranteeing the sore heals as quickly as possible and without scarring. The first signal that a cold sore is nearly appearing is often an itching sensation in the affected area, followed by the presence of small fluid-filled swellings which usually appear between several hours to a few days after the itch first appears with several of the blisters appearing. One should be watchful not to allow the infection to spread to other areas of the body and wash hands regularly. If care is not taken as regarding contamination with the eyes, the virus can cause complications, including damage of vision.
A major problem of Herpes simplex virus I is that once contacted, it occupies an individual’s body for their whole life. There is the possibility of it being latent in the nerve cells, it may reoccur when the body’s immune system are reduced to the extent that the person suffering feel the intense from a cold or stress. With this, there is no definite cure for cold sores, while the sign which is the sore, may be cured to make sure there is rapid healing, and at the same time decreasing uneasiness and avoiding the possibility of reappearance. The only approach to make sure one does not suffer from cold sores is to ensure one does not get infected with the virus in the first place by avoiding kissing anyone who has been infected with cold sore. One should as well be careful about not being diseased through polluted eating or drinking utensils. It is as well advised for the person already confirmed positive to as well not spread the virus to other people. It is actually impossible to totally cure cold sores, but there is the availability of anti-viral medication. Medication containing either acyclovir or penciclovir can as well act as a suppressant to the herpes simplex virus; that is to say, if it is applied when the sufferer first experiences the tingling sensation it will interfere with the virus’ ability to replicate and much reduces the impact of the cold sore outbreak. These treatments are currently expensive, but when used correctly can provide a great deal of relief.
HOME REMEDIES FOR COLD SORES
There are quite an amount of home remedies for cold sores resulting into prevention, healing, and pain relief. These include:
- Avoid intense sunlight or apply sunscreen; stress; lack of sleep.
- Take steady L-Lysine supplements and double the dose when you experience the tingling sensation. Make use of ice to the area as quick as one experience the tingling sensation. This can avoid the cold sore from appearing.
- Make use of petroleum product to shield the cold sore with such as Vaseline to avoid secondary bacterial contamination and to help avoid spreading the herpes infection both to other areas of the body and to other people.
- If the cold sore is aching, it is advisable one take a pain killer or use a local painkiller.
- Avoid acidic foods and salt, which are makes the sore so uncomfortable and irritate one.
- Apply vitamin E cream to help heal the sores and avoid scarring.
- Use of vaccine
- Use of an anti-viral
STAGES OF COLD SORE
The cold sore stages from 2 to 8 are the lively stages and are very transmissible during this time. 3 to 4 weeks is the average life-span of a cold sore depending on the victim’s health and choice of treatments for each of the cold sore stages.
The cold sore herpes simplex virus is hiding in the nerve ganglia near the back of the jaw on the same side as the cold sore usually appears. The cold sore virus may “sleep” for weeks or years without incident. The body’s defense “soldiers” keep them in check. When stress occurs in another part of the body, the defenses may drop at this location. Then the cold sore virus can escape and travel to the surface to reproduce – beginning the active cold sore stages.
The cold sore virus reproductive cycle begins at this stage. The cold sore virus travels down the nerve fibers to the surface. This movement causes the cold sore target area to itch or tingle. Burning or dryness sensation is noticed. This stage could last a few hours to a few days before entering the more intense cold sore stages.
The cold sore virus has now arrived at the surface and begins its reproductive cycle by entering the cells at the end of the nerve. This causes a lot of swelling and redness at the cold sore site as the cells react to being invaded by the herpes cold sore virus.
Cold sores at this stage are defined by the appearance of cold sore vesicles. A full blown cold sore is not one big blister but a grouping of small blisters called vesicles. Vesicles as tiny, hard pimple or red bumps that are painfully sensitive to the touch are noticed.
The most painful and contagious of the cold sore stages. All the vesicles break open and merge to create one big open, weeping sore. Depending on the severity, one may develop a fever and swollen lymph glands under the jaw. The weeping fluid is teaming with newly born cold sore viruses. Touching this fluid, one could easily spread the cold sore virus to another part of one’s body or to someone else – either by direct touch or shared objects such as hand towels, telephones, and faucets.
A cold sore will develop a yellowish crust or scab as it begins to finally start the healing process. The cold sore is still painful at this stage. More painful, however, is the constant cracking of the cold sore scab when the lips are moved or stretched, as in smiling.
Cold sores, once scabbed over, begin healing from the inside out. As new skin forms under the crust, one will experience continued itching, irritation and some pain. The cold sore virus is now retreating back to the nerve ganglia area where it will sleep until the next opportunity.
Cold sores at this stage no longer have a visible cold sore scab with the skin totally healed. Under the new skin, healing is still taking place as the destroyed cells are regenerated. This produces a red spot that may linger for another 2 to 14 days – depending on personal healing speed. Though, still contagious until this red spot disappears. This waiting is the most frustrating of the cold sore stages.
ARE COLD SORES CONTAGIOUS
Yes, cold sores virus infects an incredible 89% of the world population, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) estimates with 67% of those infected with the cold sores virus have at least one cold sore event in the next 12 months, while 47.5% of those folks will have multiple cold sores episodes during that period. Cold sores are one of our most contagious viruses – and one of our oldest. Even in ancient Rome, an epidemic of cold sores caused Emperor Tiberius to outlaw kissing in public ceremonies. As a global epidemic, or “pandemic”, there is no better example than cold sores. Cold sores are hideous, and very painful. On top of that, cold sores cause flu like symptoms such as fever and swollen lymph glands in a lot of people.
COLD SORES HOME REMEDIES
- Drying out the sore (these include Rubbing Alcohol, finger nail polish remover, hydrogen peroxide, hand sanitizer, mouthwash, aftershave, cologne, Clearasil, bath soap, toothpaste, salt, sulfur from unburned match heads, deodorant, vinegar, bleach).
- Keeping the sore moist and deprive it of oxygen, (these include the use of Vaseline, Neosporin, campho phenique, Aloe Vera, mentholatum, abreva, chap stick, desitin, orajel, lip balm, far wax, one’s skin oil)
- Drying out the sore and then keep it moist (The procedure for this is to dry the sore out until a scab forms and then keep the scab moist so it doesn’t crack or bleed while it heals).
- Drying the sore is probably a better cold sore home remedy than keeping it moist.
- Other home remedies are chopped garlic (garlic pieces), tea tree oil, green tea bag, frozen tea bag, dried lnstant coffee made into a paste with a little water, pepto bismal, whole milk, eucalyptus oil, Hydrocortisone, green Papaya Sap, benadryl applied topically with lip balm, calamine lotion.