Cold Sores

Cold sores are small blisters that usually develop around the mouth. They are considered contagious so if you have one, it’s not recommended that you share cups, food, towels, lip balm, or makeup with others until it has resolved. Wash your hands frequently because you can spread this virus to other parts of your body. Be especially careful around babies and people with weakened immune systems. For healthy people, this virus is mild, but for a small segment of the population, it can be dangerous.

What are the symptoms?

Painful sores in or around the mouth or in the throat.  Symptoms may also include a sore throat; swollen lymph nodes; fever; headache; and nausea, usually lasting around a week. 

What causes them?

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. Once you carry this virus (and over half of Americans age 14-49 do), you will always carry it. This means the virus could “wake up” weeks or years after a lesion has healed and you could get another cold sore. Sometimes outbreaks are triggered by mental or physical stress, such as a severe sunburn, another illness, or fatigue.

What is the treatment?

Treatments include topical and/or oral antiviral medication.  If you have a cold sore and would like to seek treatment, schedule an appointment with one of our clinicians today.


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