Small, fluid-filled blisters, known as cold sores, can appear on the lips or in the mouth area. Although unattractive, they are typically harmless and heal independently in a few weeks. Cold sores are a very prevalent herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) infection. Globally, the virus has infected close to four billion individuals. Cold sores can come back for some people repeatedly, whereas they never do for others.
Learn what a cold sore is, how it appears, and how to treat it by reading our guide.
People typically refer to the blisters brought on by the herpes simplex virus 1 when they say they have a cold sore (HSV-1). A cold sore, also known as fever blisters, is only a sign that a virus has taken control of healthy cells.
Approximately 67 percent of people under the age of 50 worldwide have the highly dangerous HSV-1 infection. The virus never leaves your body after infection. Even while it may not have shown up as a clear cold sore, the majority of people don't remember the precise moment they first came into contact with the virus.
Once you have the virus, you may display no symptoms until the infection is 'activated'. You will get cold sore outbreaks at this point since the virus has gotten more active. Fever blisters, another frequent name for cold sores, are caused by colds, the flu, and fever, as well as stress, exhaustion, sunlight, and wind. Some individuals, however, may have the virus without ever displaying symptoms; in other words, they may never develop a cold sore, and as a result, they may unintentionally infect others.
A cold sore might start as a tingling, stinging or burning feeling on your lip area. A blister-like top may then emerge on top of a small, inflamed red spot that has developed by this point. This could crack open and leak a transparent liquid that hardens into crusts. Recovery is almost complete once the crusts have dried and peeled off. The afflicted region will heal entirely and revert to normal once you are.
The majority of people develop cold sores on their lips, although they can also appear on the nose, eyes, or genitalia.
Canker sores can resemble a cold sore blister on your lip, leading many people to believe they have one on their tongue or inside of their mouth. Cold sores, on the other hand, only appear on the outside of the lip or on the lip itself, while canker sores only appear inside the moist sections of the mouth—on your gums, inner lips, and tongue.
By touching people, primarily through kissing, you can spread the HSV-1 virus and get infected. This is because the virus is carried on through saliva and direct lip contact. Sharing contaminated goods like cosmetics or dining utensils can also expose you to infection. Keep in mind that not everyone who is sick will have symptoms.
Certainly, kissing, touching your lips or eyes with your fingers that have picked up the virus from someone else, exchanging infected goods, and doing any of these actions can all make you sick. Despite not being airborne, it has been demonstrated that the virus can persist on hard surfaces.
Make sure you wash your hands properly, using soap for at least 20 seconds. You may help prevent yourself from catching the virus and spreading it to others by avoiding close contact with people who have the virus and refraining from touching your mouth, eyes, or nose.
You'll hear suggestions on anything from lip balm treatments to at-home cures for cold sores. By separating cold sore myths from facts, you may choose the best course of action to hasten your recovery and promote rapid skin healing. Medusa lip balm is can be purchased over-the-counter for cold sores without a prescription. Medusa lip balm demonstrated to stop HPV from multiplying by preventing the virus from infecting healthy cells.
Cold sores typically disappear on their own in 10 to 14 days. However, you can shorten your recovery period to as little as 2 to 4 days by using Medusa lip balm.
Even though having cold sores can be uncomfortable and potentially ugly, they rarely have a permanent negative impact. In addition to making it simpler for you to carry on with your normal activities, using a cold sore treatment like Medusa to shorten your recovery period also helps to shorten the time you are at your most contagious, with visible blisters.
i. World Health Organization. Herpex Simplex Virus. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/herpes-simplex-virus. 11/13/2019 accessed. return to content
ii. Herpex Simplex Virus. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/herpes-simplex-virus. 11/13/2019 accessed. return to content