Cold Sore Facts for Skin

Cold Sore Facts for Skin

Anyone who suffers from cold sores know how irritating, embarrassing and annoying these infections can be especially if you suffer from recurring outbreaks. Cold sores are caused by the Herpes simplex virus type 1 and most individuals do not have any recollection of where they were originally affected. Herpes simplex virus type 2 is generally associated with the sexually transmitted disease however it is responsible in some cases for outbreaks categorized as cold sores.

Cold sores generally appear as a group of small blisters usually on the lips or around the mouth. One of the most frustrating realities of cold sores is once you are infected you are infected for life therefore approximately twenty to forty percent of individuals will suffer recurrent outbreaks that can be caused for several different reasons.

Most people contract the virus in childhood when it enters the body through a point


integrity is compromised by a small cut or sore. Once the virus has enter the body it multiplies and travels along the nerves to an area called the dorsal root ganglion (close to the spinal cord) where it sits in wait.

Although it isn’t always clear what causes an out break there as some generally agreed upon factors. For instance stress which can lower the ability or function of the immune system has been thought to stimulate the virus. Other factors include: hormonal changes,

sun exposure

, skin trauma, and cold or flu. Generally any occurrence that compromises the immune system will allow the virus to reactivate and cause a cold sore. The important this to realize however is most individuals can not pin point the cause of an outbreak.

It is now believed that up to forty percent of the population suffers from cold sores which now means that there is treatment options available. There are OTC treatments as well as prescription formulas that are available from your doctor. Most of the treatments do work on the basis of treating at the earliest sign of an outbreak, those that suffer know what I am talking about, the skin feels a little different, there is a tingling, small swelling, itching, redness and the first sign of a small blister forming. This is the time to treat, the earlier the better. It is also important to note that if you suffer from frequent outbreaks there are now medications available that will help to prevent future outbreaks, see your doctor.

The most important issue associated with cold sores is the reality of spreading the sores to other parts of your own body or to another person. Most individuals realize that the virus is highly contagious when a breakout is present but that is not always the case. It is important to take some precautions, always avoid direct contact with other people when a breakout is present, no kissing, no sharing utensils, drinks, towels or lips products. Always wash your hands after touching your face. It is always better to error on the side of caution.