Winter is coming. The time that many people suffer from cold sores again. What is cold sore anyway? And can something be done about it? Here are general Questions and Answers.
What is Cold Sore? – Here is Some Explanation
How is it possible that some people often get cold sores and others never?
“A cold sore is caused by a herpes virus. Only carriers of the virus can get a cold sore. Once you have been infected, you carry this virus with you all your life.”
“The first time you get infected, it usually does not cause so many complaints. Then the virus hides in your nerves and sometimes it takes years before it becomes active again and you get cold sores.”
How do you feel that you get a cold sore?
“A cold sore first causes a tingling or burning sensation on or around the lips. That is because the nerve that contains the virus is stimulated. So you feel that the virus is coming again. Then the skin often appears redder and appears there are painful blisters that burst open over time. Those blisters contain the herpes virus.”
Isn’t a cold sore contagious?
“Yes. A cold sore is very contagious when the blisters are open. Usually, it takes a week for the ulcers to heal. Contamination goes through the mucous membranes. For example, by kissing, sharing lip balm or drinking from the same glass.”
“Always be careful if you have a cold sore. Especially with babies, a first infection can have serious consequences, because their resistance is not yet fully established. Are you taking care of a baby and do you have a cold sore? Don’t hug or kiss the baby, wear a mask and wash your hands well. ”
This is how you prevent (further) cold sore infection:
- Wash your hands after contact with the blisters.
- Don’t hug or kiss people, certainly not small children or babies.
- Wear a mouth cap if you are taking care of a baby
- Be careful with contact lenses, always wash your hands well first
- Avoid oral sexual contact
Why is it called cold sore? Does it have anything to do with a fever?
“No. It’s called so because cold sores often occur when your resistance deteriorates. As soon as your immune system deteriorates, the virus sees its chance to flare up.”
From a cold sore only around the mouth?
“Often, but sometimes also in other places in the face such as the chin, cheek or nose. And be careful with contact lenses. If you have cold sores and you put your lenses in or out with infected fingers, you can bring the virus into your eyes. It is very painful if you get a ‘cold sore’ there later. ”
“Also avoid oral sexual contact. In the genital area, cold sores can also cause herpes infection by invading the mucous membranes. That can cause genital herpes.”
Are genital herpes and cold sores the same?
“Not really. There are different types of herpes viruses. The most well-known are cold sores and genital herpes.”
Is there anything to do about cold sores?
“Once you have the virus, you will never lose it again. But there are special antivirus products in the form of creams or stickers that you can apply as soon as the tingling sensation starts and you suspect that you will get cold sores again. In very intense I sometimes prescribe pills. ”
“These drugs ensure that the virus cannot divide. You delay the virus so that your own defenses get a chance to recover. You can buy these drugs yourself without a prescription at the drugstore or pharmacy. You do not have to go to a cold sore the doctor.”