Cold sores may look a tad terrifying in appearance, but they’re a fairly common skin condition. A report shows that 1 in 6 adults in the US carries the virus that causes cold sores. Some of these people may never come to develop the symptoms, but around 10% of them do.
As an extremely contagious condition, it is easy to catch even if the contact was only minimal. And stats show that many children develop cold sores for the first time, even before they turn 5.
If you’ve only just gotten cold sores for the first time, you might have a lot to ask about the viral skin disease. Let’s go over some common questions people tend to ask about cold sores.
What Are They?
Cold sores are fluid-filled blisters that develop on your lips or around them. You may also know cold sores by some of their other names, like oral herpes or fever blisters. The sores may be highly contagious, but they’re hardly a cause for concern and tend to clear up on their own in a week or two.
How Often Do People Get Cold Sores?
There’s no one answer as to how many times a person will develop cold sores. Some only get them once or twice in their entire lifetime, while others may get an outbreak several times in the same year.
What Causes Cold Sores?
If you come directly in contact with someone who is infected with the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1), you could become infected yourself. Moreover, sharing things like lip balms or eating utensils with other people also increases your chances of developing a cold sore outbreak.
Once you’ve become infected with the virus, it never really goes away. It stays dormant until something triggers it. Common factors that trigger a cold sore outbreak include sunburn, extremely cold temperatures, stress, or even becoming ill with a fever or cold.
What Are the Symptoms of Cold Sores?
Before you actually get the sores, you may notice a burning or itching feeling around your mouth. The appearance of blisters may be accompanied by a sore throat, achy muscles, or even a fever.
What Is the Treatment for Cold Sores?
Though the sores will clear up on their own, you can aid the process using a few methods. Try applying a topical anti-viral medication to the affected areas, or use cold compresses to soothe the burning sensation. If the pain is too intense, over-the-counter painkillers will help. Additionally, you can apply petroleum jelly to the sores and surrounding areas to protect them and help them retain moisture.
If you need a quick diagnosis for your cold sores, connect with us at FastDocNow to get in touch with a virtual doctor as soon as possible. Our online healthcare services include online consultations, prescriptions refills, and at-home lab testing.