Often referred to as fever blisters or other nicknames, cold sores are a fairly common reoccurring viral infection that is characterized by a collection of small, fluid-filled blisters most commonly on or around an individual’s lips.
These blisters will often break causing a crust to form over the resulting sores. While cold sores will often heal on their own within a matter of days or weeks, they’re caused by a herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) closely related to the one that causes genital herpes (HSV-2). Both of these viruses can affect your mouth or genitals and can be spread by oral sex.
Unfortunately, there is no official cure for the herpes simplex virus, and these blisters are likely to come and go over time. In many instances, we will recommend antiviral medication to help patients to relieve their cold sores and allow them to heal faster than they otherwise would.
These cold sores are most contagious when they are ‘oozing’, however, the virus can be spread at almost any time – so be sure to take preventative measures to not spread it to the people in your life. Antiviral medication can we taken daily to prevent outbreaks if they occur frequently.
While cold sores generally heal on their own, there are a number of different antivirals that can help to speed up the process and limit future breakouts – including popular names such as:
- Acyclovir (Xerese, Zovirax)
- Valacyclovir (Valtrex)
- Famciclovir (Famvir)
- Penciclovir (Denavir)
For more information on treatment or to schedule an appointment be sure to contact Nova Dermatology today.