Coldsores are the common name given to a group of blisters caused by the herpes simplex virus. Most of us recognise that coldsores are an indication that we are under strain or run down. There are different types of coldsores with some being more annoying than others and some of them can even be painful. Most health concerns are aggravated or caused by cold weather particularly during the cold winter days ahead; although there are many other reasons that cause these infections.
There are quite a few ways in which you can prevent cold sores from occurring or worsening. One of the easiest is to avoid sharing personal items with other people including cutlery, cups, glasses, straws and anything else that they could possibly touch with hands. Keep your hands and arms as clean as possible. It may not be possible to do this but it will help to keep your skin well moisturised and free from bacteria.
If you develop a cold sore then you must seek medical advice straight away, especially if the sore does not heal within a few days or appears to increase in size. If it is an open sore then you need to treat it promptly as it could be an example of the herpes simplex virus progressing into blisters. These blisters often contain a lot of fluid and you should be careful not to squeeze them. A cold sore can be treated in several ways, some of which are described below. The first type of treatment for an open sore is ice.
Ice is useful in two ways; firstly, it reduces the inflammation of the area and secondly, it stops the herpes simplex virus deadening its cells and thus prolonging the healing time of the cold sores. For this to work effectively, the ice needs to be applied over a prolonged period of time so it is important to keep applying it for around twenty-four hours a day, every night, until the sore has gone. Other treatments include docosanol, which is an antiviral and anti-septic liquid. It can also be used topically on blisters.
Docosanol is one of the few medications that have shown to be effective against both types of sores, although it has been less effective in treating cold sores than it has been in stopping the herpes simplex virus from spreading to other parts of the body. docosanol is also another treatment for cold sores that is known to stop the herpes simplex virus from spreading. The reason why docosanol is good at stopping spread is because it has the ability to stop the virus from being able to replicate; it prevents the virus from entering the body’s blood stream. In addition, docosanol can be taken by both men and women, even those who have been infected with the herpes simplex virus.
Cold sores can be an unpleasant thing, but they are not life threatening or contagious. If you feel a blister developing, contact your doctor right away for an evaluation and treatment plan. The faster you treat them, the less chance you have of spreading the blisters to other parts of your body or to another person.