COLD SORES: What are they?
Cold sores, (also famed as fever blisters) are the fluid filled pimples mostly occur on or around the lips. They are not just cosmetically unappealing, but painful too. These blisters are caused by herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1). Sometimes they appear on face, inside mouth or even inside or on the nose. Cold sores are not restricted to these common places, but can also show up on any body part including genitals as well. These “below the belt” blisters are caused by another herpes simplex virus i.e. HSV-2 and mostly occur due to sexual contact.
HSV-1 is a viruswhich has no permanent cure. However, It is not necessary that HVS-1 infected person always have to bear these painful cold sores.
Cold sores are a communicable disease. It usually enters through a break in the skin or even from your mouth when you share you stuff with HSV affected person. Kids are very much prone to this infection. Using same toys and other belongings used by HSV infected children in school, can easily infect them. Virus enters in your nerves and stays in a dormant state and one day suddenly you feel redness and light pain around the infected area, sore throat, fever or swollen glands in your throat and other parts of your body. They are the first signs of cold sores.Sometimes patientsfeel, tingling, itching and burning sensations around the infected area. These blisters are very painful experience for some people as the sore grows in size, so does the pain and irritation.
Anyone who has had a cold sore outbreak will easily recognize a reoccurrence. A recurrence infection is always less severe and short-lasting compared to the primary one.
Around 90% of adults have HSV in their bloodstream, which means they have been infected with this virus some or the other time in their lifetime. With the first encounter with HSV, people have to face severe symptoms that include fever, tiredness, sore throat and blister around the mouth that cause pain in mouth and gums. Infected person may take around 2 weeks to recover from these symptoms.
Cold sores can also spread in the eyes causing pain and redness. HSV can cause an ulcer on that cornea that can damage the vision of your eyes. In this case, person should seek for immediate medical attention to prevent permanent damage to the eyes.
As I said, once it penetrates the body, it will never leaves the body. For pregnant women, it’s not less than a nuisance. HSV-2 raises the woman’s risk of miscarriage, premature labor, low birth weight or transmission to virus to the baby from the vaginal delivery. Even if you are getting any cosmetic surgery, your dermatologist confirms your HSV background. Any wrong move and the entire face gets covered with painful blisters.
Usually these blisters heal by their own within 15 days, but if they are frequent and severe, then it’s time to visit your physician.