Cold sore pain: Causes, Symptoms, and treatment: If you are experiencing blister-like lesions around your lips, cheeks, chin or even inside the nostril, these are called cold sores. These blisters cause pain, irritation and also burning sensation.
Some of the quick fact on cold sores:
- These are tiny blister that develops around the lips and over your mouth.
- It usually clears within 7 to 10 days without any treatment.
- The herpes simplex virus strain HSV-1 causes cold sores
- This virus is highly contagious and transfers through direct contact
What Are The Various Causes Of Cold Sores?
Herpes simplex virus (HSV) – HSV-1 and HSV-2 are a highly contagious virus that is primarily responsible for the cold sores. These can be easily transmitted with direct close contact. Once this virus enters the body, it remains inactive most of the time. But, if it triggers, it leads to cold sores.
You might experience one outbreak and after that, no reoccurrence. But few people may experience two to three outbreaks each year. When the virus remains dormant, it never outbreaks leading to cold sores.
A person suffering from genital herpes transmits the HSV-2 leads via oral sex acts.
What Are The Various Symptoms Of Cold Sores?
People who are having herpes simplex virus might not know about it unless they will experience any symptoms. When cold sore appears for the first time, the primary infection may not be severe. But over some time, it may become critical if the virus persists.
As cold sores are the result of HSV-1 and HSV-2 in your body, the reoccurring cold sore signifies the presence of the virus in your body. Cold sores are the only sign of herpes infection so far. The severe symptoms of herpes virus are high in children as their antibodies defense mechanism is not stronger.
Some of the common symptoms of cold sores are:
- Pain in tongue or mouth
- Sore throat
- Ulcers, lesions, and blisters in the mouth
- High body temperature
- Lip swelling
- Swollen glands
- Swallowing difficulties
Headaches or Cold Sore Pain
An infection called gingivostomatitis is also prevalent in the mouth and gums, which lasts for 1-2 weeks. In adults, Pharyngotonsillitis is an infection that occurs, causing the infection of tonsils or throat.
What are the various stages of cold sores?
There are mainly four stages in which the cold sore outbreaks as follows:
A burning sensation, tingling or itching around the mouth. It indicates the outbreak of cold sores. On the edges of the lips, there are fluid-filled sores. The glands start to swell as well.
Pain and irritation start alongside the cold sore. The sores mostly appear at the same place.
The Sore Starts Oozing And Break
Once the fluid is out, there is a yellow crust on the top of the sore. Once this layer is peeled off, there is a pink skin that heals automatically and does not leave any scar.
It generally takes 10-15 days for most of the sores to disappear.
What Is The Diagnosis Available For The Cold Sore?
If you already experienced a cold sore, you can quickly notice its reoccurrence. If your child is suffering from this virus infection and it is not healed within a week, it is recommended to consult a doctor. Your doctor may ask to get a blood test to confirm the symptoms.
In some cases, the doctor also takes a sample of fluid oozing from the blister to detect if the virus is present. It is widely done for the patients having a week immune system.
What Is The Treatment For Cold Sores?
Most of the cold sores disappear within 1-2 weeks and do not require any treatment. You can shorten the outbreak duration and relieve the pain/discomfort by using some anti-viral medications. Oral antiviral medicines like famciclovir, Valacycloviranr or acyclovir can reduce the outbreak of cold sores and can even stop it.
If you have multiple outbreaks, it is recommended to take these medications to prevent an everyday breakout.
If you are experiencing any discomfort, some Over-the-counter creams are also available like which helps in relieving the pain, dryness, and itchiness. Now, you can use Cymex, Bonjela or Blistex which are free from antiviral medication but soothes your cold sores externally.
We can gently dab the cream at the cold sore affected areas. You should not share your cream as it may transmit the herpes virus rapidly to the other person.
To relieve the pain, you can also take ts he painkillers like Tylenol or ibuprofen.
If you are having a week immune system, you are prone to certain complications. This infection can be spread to the other parts of your body and induces the risk of brain swelling and affecting the eyes. Antiviral tablets are prescribed for such patients who have a week immune system.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How to get rid of cold sore fast?
A: You can use some over-the-counter healing agents like alcohol which helps in speeding up the cold sore healing by drying it up. Once you start noticing the development of a cold sore, start using valacyclovir (Valtrex) to speed up the healing process.
Apply the ice pack on the affected area or cold, wet towel. Moisturize the skin to prevent any outbreak.
Q: How long does a cold sore last?
A: A cold sore generally lasts for 7 to 10 days. It does not require any treatment. All the prescribed medicines are meant to alleviate discomfort and pain. However, if the cold sore is dealt in its stage of inception, it can be healed up quickly by applying the prescribed creams and other medications.
Q: Does apple cider vinegar kill cold sores?
A: No! Cold sores are caused by a virus infection, not a bacterial infection. Apple cider vinegar possesses the antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, not anti-viral properties. Hence, applying it over a cold sore does not help in curing it. But it is very useful in removing the dead skin cells.
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