From Natural WellBeing
Do you Suffer from Cold Sores?
If so, you’re not alone! In the US, it is estimated that 50 percent to 80 percent of adults experience cold sores, and, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), approximately 90 percent of adults have been exposed to the virus that causes cold sores by the age of 50.
What are Cold Sores - and What Causes Them?
Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are painful lesions that occur around the lips and oral mucosa, and may even appear on the tongue.
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or type 2 (HSV-2). HSV-1 is the type most often associated with oral cold sores; however, HSV-2, typically associated with genital herpes, can also cause oral cold sores, and HSV-1 can cause genital lesions.
The first outbreak of a cold sore is often the worst and may last for several weeks. After the lesion has resolved, the virus remains dormant — in a resting or latent state — in the nerves until it is reactivated by an event such as illness or surgery, stress (emotional or physical), exhaustion, a compromised immune system, or prolonged or intense exposure to sunlight.
Signs and Symptoms of Cold Sores
Telltale prodromal symptoms often include a tingling or burning sensation over the area where the nerve endings are being sensitized by the actively replicating virus. The blisters are fluid-filled and usually rupture within a day or two - the liquid within the blisters is highly contagious. After they’ve ruptured, the blisters crust over and will usually heal within ten days. During an active outbreak, infection can easily be spread by kissing or skin-to-skin contact, so practicing strict hygiene is important to avoid infecting others.