Posted in Lifestyle on February 12, 2009

cold-soresCold sores are so painful.  These often small, sores appear on the mouth or lips are actually caused by virus.  Those that appear in the mouth are especially painful as they often last days and can last weeks.

Cold sores are usually caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) type I or type II.  These infections are contagious.  So think twice before kissing a person with a cold sore on their lips or mouth.  And even when the cold sores are not present, it is possible for a person to pass the HSV to another.

Cold sores can be prevented by avoiding things which trigger it.  Such as STRESS and sunburn.  Keep in mind that there are no cures for cold sores.

Treating cold sores can be quick tricky as there are not cures for it.  There are merely ways to treating the symptoms. Researchers have found that a cream made from liquorice can help keep cold sores at bay.

Most of the cold sores go away on their own and do not need medication at all.  However, if the symptoms are bothering you there are a couple of over-the-counter topical medications that can provide some relief.  These will help relieve the itching as well as the burning and the pain.  Abreva®, Lipactin® and Zilactin® are good examples of over-the-counter mediacations.  Make sure you read the label for the side effects before applying anything.

Want prescription-strength  medication instead?  Some people just don’t trust the over-the-counter medication.   Talk to your doctor, there are several prescription grade topical medications that will help reduce the healing time and decrease the pain such as Zovirax® or Denavir®.  There are also pills that can be taking to treat the virus that causes the Cold Sores such as Valtrex®.  Always consult a doctor regardless of where you get the prescription-strength medications.

Want to find out more?

Sources:

http://www.medicinenet.com/herpes_simplex_infections_non-genital/article.htm
http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/cold-sores-topic-overview