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Cold Sore : Symptom, Cause, Stage, Diagnosis, Treatment Prevention, Home Remedy, Home Treatment Sore

Cold sores (fever blisters) are small red blisters that usually appear on the edge of the lip or outer edge of the mouth. They often weep a clear fluid and form scabs after a few days. They are sometimes confused with impetigo, which usu­ally develops between the nose and upper lip. The fluid that weeps from impetigo is cloudy and honey ­colored, not clear.Cold sores are caused by a herpes virus. Herpes viruses (chickenpox is another kind) stay in the body after the first infection. Later, something that triggers the virus causes it to become active again. Cold sores may appear after colds, fevers, exposure to the sun, stressful times, or during menstruation. Sometimes, they appear for no apparent reason

Cold Sore Symptom

The primary infection can progress in different ways. Some people only have very mild symptoms or none at all. The first outbreak starts one to three weeks after the virus has been contracted. It subsides spontaneously within a few weeks. Later, if HSV is reactivated, the blisters will return.

The first symptom of an outbreak is an unpleasant tingling feeling in the skin. After a short while, a number of fluid-filled blisters appear.

The sores become covered by scabs that, typically, fall off after 8 to 10 days. The virus can spread until the sores are completely covered by scabs.

Around 20 per cent of the people with HSV antibodies have recurrent attacks of cold sores throughout their lives.

In children, the virus can infect the mouth and throat. The infection may be accompanied by a fever and general aches and pains.

Cause Cold Core

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. No doubt you've heard of "herpes" before, but don't jump ahead of yourself. There are actually two types of herpes simplex virus, "type 1" and "type 2."

Type 1

Herpes simplex virus.

Herpes simplex virus type 1 ("HSV1") generally only infects those body tissues that lie above the waistline and it is HSV1 that causes cold sores in the majority of cases.

Type 2

Herpes simplex virus.

Herpes simplex virus type 2 ("HSV2") usually only infects those body tissues that lie "below the waistline" and it is this virus that is also known as "genital herpes." Herpes simplex virus type 2 is not usually the virus that causes cold sores, although it can.

Cold Sore Stage

The development of a cold sore has several stages:

Tingle Stage - the skin tingles and itches before the sore appears

Blister Stage - a small patch of skin raises and forms a blister

Weeping Stage - the blister bursts to form a weeping sore

Scab Stage - natural healing occurs at the site of the sore

Diagnosis Cold Sore

Because oral herpes is so common, it is diagnosed primarily by symptoms. It can be diagnosed and treated by the family doctor, dermatologists and infectious disease specialists. Laboratory tests may be performed to look for the virus. Because healing sores do not shed much virus, a sample from an open sore would be taken for viral culture. A sterile cotton swab would be wiped over open sores and the sample used to infect human cells in culture. Cells that are killed by the herpes virus have a certain appearance under microscopic examination. The results of this test are available within two to 10 days.

Oral herpes may resemble a bacterial infection called impetigo. This skin infection is most commonly seen in children and causes herpes-like blisters around the mouth and nose. Also, because oral herpes can occur inside the mouth, the blisters could be mistaken for common canker sores. Therefore, the doctor would need to determine whether the blisters are oral herpes, canker sores, or impetigo.

Cold Sore Treatment

In the cases of kids ,the sores go away on their own without any special treatment from a doctor. If you get a cold sore, try holding some ice wrapped in cloth on the sore. It also might help to eat a Popsicle.

Sometimes, if the cold sores are making a kid sick, a doctor may prescribe a special medicine that fights the herpes simplex virus.

While you're waiting for the cold sore to go away, wash your hands regularly and don't pick at it. You'll only get in the way of your body's natural healing process. Picking at a cold sore is also bad news because it's easy to spread the virus to other parts or your body, like your fingers or eyes. Worse yet, you might spread the virus to other people.

Cold Prevention Sore

Avoid kissing and skin contact with people while blisters are present. The virus can spread easily as long as there are moist secretions from your blisters. In persons with depressed immune systems, the virus can be spread even after the skin appears to be healed.

Wash your hands carefully before touching another person when you have a cold sore.

Be careful about touching other parts of your body. Your eyes and genital area may be particularly susceptible to spread of the virus.

If possible try to avoid or prevent conditions that stress your body, such as getting a cold or the flu, not getting enough sleep or staying in the sun for long periods of time without applying sun block.

Apply sun block to your lips and face before prolonged exposure to the sun - during both the winter and the summer - to help prevent cold sores.

Cold Sore Complication

The sores may become infected by bacteria.

If the condition spreads to the eyes, it can damage vision.

In patients who suffer from atopic dermatitis, the cold sores can, in rare cases, spread to larger parts of the body.

Massive cold sores can be a sign that another disease, pneumonia or HIV for example, has weakened the body's defences.

Cold Home Remedy Sore

Eating plain yogurt with live cultures is a good preventive measure. Heat-treated yogurt won't work. People who have added yogurt to their daily diet have discovered that they don't get cold sores, or very few.

Using zinc has been reported to reduce the duration of cold sores. Applied topically, it speeds healing. Take up to 60 mg a day for the first week.

When the tingling starts, try rubbing juice from an aloe plant on the affected area. If you are traveling, take a bottle of aloe gel with you just in case a sore begins. This remedy is especially effective if used at the first sign of a cold sore.

Another method to ease the pain is to rub an ice cube on the sore for a few minutes. This is especially good to do at the onset of a cold sore. Apply ice every ten minutes for an hour. This process may prevent the movement of the virus from the nerve to the skin.

Steep an ordinary teabag in boiling water for a few minutes; cool; then apply to lesions. Within four or five days the lesions should crust over and disappear.

Vaseline will help ease cracking and dryness.

Cold Home Sore Treatment

At the first sign of a cold sore (tingling or prickling at the site where the sore will appear), apply ice to the area. This may help reduce the severity of the sore.

Apply petroleum jelly (Vaseline) to ease cracking and dryness.

Apply a paste made of cornstarch and a little water.

Be patient. Cold sores usually go away in 7 to 10 day.

When to Call the Doctor

If sores last longer than two weeks or you have many or frequent cold sores. A prescription medication may reduce the frequency and severity of outbreaks.

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