For those of us already too familiar with cold sores, we know that an odd dry feeling or tiny tingling sensation on the lip can signal something much worse is on its way.
Cold sores, fever blisters, herpes simplex
Whatever you call it, this common, yet extremely unpleasant viral infection can mean at least a couple of weeks of unsightly sores that can start on your lip and migrate to your face. They hurt, burn and ooze. Even your jaw aches as your lymph nodes react to the outbreak. During an episode, you may even experience fever, sore gums, headache, sore throat or muscle aches.
Once you have cold sores, you will have them again
The virus lies dormant in nerve cells in your skin and may reemerge because: you go out in the sun, or visit the dentist, or eat a trigger food, or feel stressed or sick – or for no reason at all! There has to be something modern medicine can do about this lifelong affliction. And there is.
The key to living with the cold sore virus is quick action
Whether you think you’ve had your first exposure (kissing someone with a cold sore, for example) or you’ve already had multiple outbreaks, speed to treatment can make all the difference. If you act quickly, you can relieve the symptoms, reduce the size and virulence of the blisters and shorten the length of the outbreak.
Your dermatologist can help you be prepared
Dr. Bucay can help you manage the virus and make sure your cold sore outbreaks are more bearable. Several over-the-counter antiviral creams actually work if used immediately when you feel that first little itch or tingle on your lip. Other treatment options include prescription strength antiviral pills and creams, or even antiviral injections.
Manage that tingle. Don’t fear it
It’s true that cold sores usually clear up without treatment in two to four weeks. But there is no reason to go through the discomfort or add another scar to your lip.