25 Feb Don’t Let Cold Sores Get You Down
Cold sores are small blisters that develop on the lips or around the mouth. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus.
You may not have any symptoms when you first become infected with the herpes simplex virus. An outbreak of cold sores may happen later. The virus also tends to reoccur especially following illness, stress, in people who have supressed immune systems and following exposure to sunlight. This is because the virus resides in the nerves that supply areas of the skin and becomes reactivated from time to time.
Cold sores often start with a tingling, itching or burning sensation around your mouth. Small fluid-filled blisters then appear, often on the edges of the lips.
Cold sores are often very painful, unsightly and can often appear at the most inconvenient times! After around 7 to 10 days without treatment, the blisters then start to crust over and become less painful, but the redness can take longer to disappear.
The blister stage is highly contagious and contact with others should be avoided to prevent transmission. You should also avoid touching the blisters to avoid spreading the Herpes virus to other areas such as the eyes. Herpes of the eye can also cause damage to the eyesight.
Cold sores can be treated quickly and easily with a single laser treatment. The best time to treat the cold sore with laser is when it is in the early blister stage. Laser kills the virus, rapidly alleviating the pain, and significantly speeds up the healing process. The laser also weakens the virus and may prevent a reoccurrence altogether.
If you have a cold sore that is in the blister stage on the day of a dental appointment, please inform the practice. We may have to reschedule your dental treatment but we can still see you to get rid of that troublesome cold sore!