Want to know the causes of cold sores for treating cold sores? But first you should know what are cold sores actually. Cold sores are also known as fever blisters, herpes labialis or oral herpes. They are painful, fluid-filled lesions that normally break out on or around the lips but can also occur elsewhere on the face and inside the mouth.
The causes of cold sores is the Herpes Simplex virus, specifically the first type or HSV 1.
Another type of the Herpes Simplex virus, herpes simplex type 2 or HSV 2, is what causes the sexually transmitted disease, genital herpes.
The herpes virus is incredibly infectious and is spread through skin-to-skin contact or through infected saliva, say when kissing or during oral sex. It is believed, in fact, many studies indicate that most people have it, mainly contracted during childhood through contact with infected persons.
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Although not dangerous, cold sore outbreaks can be extremely distressing, especially if they occur inside the mouth, making eating and drinking difficult because of the pain in swallowing. This is why many children who develop fever blisters in the mouth refuse to take food or liquid, putting them at risk of dehydration. First time outbreaks can also be very painful.
But the HSV 1 virus can also be transferred to other parts of the body if the infected area is touched. The HSV 2 virus can also infect other areas through contact transference, particularly oral sex. It is therefore very important not to come into contact with infected areas during an outbreak of fever blisters since this is when the virus is most infectious.
What Are The Signs of Herpes?
An outbreak of herpes sores is usually preceded by an itchy, tingly feeling in the infected area. After the blisters break out, they stay on for a few days and then heal into scabs and disappear.
But this does not mean you have gotten rid of the virus. The Herpes Simplex virus merely lies dormant in the skin until the occurrence of causes of cold sores outbreaks.
There are actually people who, despite being infected with the Herpes Simplex virus, never suffer from cold sores. These are people whose immune systems are resilient enough to keep the virus at bay.
What Causes Cold Sore Outbreaks?
A weakened immune system is one of the main causes of cold sores outbreaks. Others are:
- Overexposure to sunlight
- Low pH
- High arginine and low Lysine levels
- Hormonal changes such as menstruation
- Poor diet
- Overconsumption of alcohol
- Extreme temperatures
- Skin irritations
- Steroid medication
When outbreaks occur, you can find over the counter cold sore medication like Abreva and Zofirax cold sore cream to help ease the discomfort and speed up the healing time of the fever blisters. There are also home remedies for fever blisters, such as applying ice and warm tea bags to the infected areas.
There are also medicines and herbal remedies that can help keep cold sore outbreaks from happening, or at least happening too often. But the best way remains keeping a healthy lifestyle and sticking to a proper diet.
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