What are the causes of cold sores?
When considering sores on the mouth, genitals or lips, understanding what they are and what causes them is as important as treatment. Cold sores are commonly blisters that form on the face, throat, lips or genital area and are quite contagious if skin contact occurs. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus and there are two types, type 1 and type 2. The most commonly occurring one is due to type 1 virus and it is also the common cause of cold sores on the mouth, lips, and face. Initially a small red patch appears when cold sores start, this can develop into blisters or clusters of blisters in the region and the blister bursts and forms scabs. Be careful to use separate toiletries, make up and avoid contact with the affected area when having cold sores as it is contagious.
Make sure you keep the area well moisturised in order to aid better healing of cold sores. Items like peppermint oil or coconut oil with anti-inflammatory and soothing properties are the best natural methods when treating these sores. The sore usually leaves without any scarring formed within a span of 7-10 days. The cold sores virus tends to hide in nearby nerves and can cause other outbreaks in regions of the body and throat so take care to wash hands before and after applying medication and creams. An itch, tickling sensation, or shooting pain can occur when you get these sores.
When cold sores occur repeatedly, it is caused by type 1 of the herpes simplex virus, repeated occurrences also mean that the attacks grow milder with time as your immune system recognises and tackles the issue better each time. People may have different personal triggers for cold sores. These include illness, tiredness, stress, menstruation, being too worn out, too much UV light and even alcohol. Getting enough sleep and rest, being stress free through healthy lifestyle practices, ample exercise, antiviral tablets and creams all help in tackling cold sores over time. Some products used for treating cold sores also contain substances for numbing the pain. Discuss with your pharmacist about the options available to you in topical creams which contain an anaesthetic. When treated early on, cold sores are better managed.
At the initial phase, when you experience the tingling in the areas where you commonly get cold sores start applying the anti-viral anaesthetic creams or home remedies, this treats it effectively and helps prevent a full blown outbreak sooner. Some people also notice that using an ice pack will help alleviate and tackle the symptoms sooner. A lemon and honey balm is also quite soothing in the early stages for many people dealing with this problem. Understanding your personal causes of cold sores and being careful with personal hygiene routines, helps keep you healthy and free of cold sores completely over time. Hourly application of other remedies also help in addition to all this, adequate rest and identifying if it is type 1 or type 2 that has effected you also helps in treating it better. Once you pinpoint the cause, managing cold sores and associated symptoms becomes easier and simple.