Developing a cold sore can be a painful and embarrassing problem. Although incredibly common, having a cold sore will cause discomfort in your daily life, while also affecting mood and productivity. When the sore breaks through, you may also avoid social situations due to the stigma associated with this kind of skin blemish.
Cold sores can impact your romantic life, as you must reduce contact with partners to prevent the spread of the virus. Repeat instances may begin with an itching or tingling feeling. You will then notice a patch of skin turning red. Over time, this reddened skin will give way to one or several unsightly blisters.
These blisters will eventually burst, leaving the area abrased and inflamed. The affected region will develop a scab that may crack or split when speaking or eating. A split or cracked scab is agonizing and can feel repulsive to the sufferer.
What Causes Cold Sores?
Cold sores are caused by the two strains of the herpes simplex virus. Herpes simplex type 1 is much more likely to reoccur on the face than type 2, but can present on any part of the body. Kissing someone who has an active cold sore is the most common way to contract the virus.
This could be a romantic partner or even a relative when you were a child. The virus will linger in a nerve junction around the spinal column and can present itself at any time. However, sufferers report that illness such as a fever and exposure to UV light from being in the sun or using sunbeds can trigger an outbreak. Times of stress or trauma, or even menstruation, are other known factors.
Remedies and Treatment for Cold Sores
Some home remedies to shorten the healing process for cold sores are applying a cold, used tea bag to the area every hour and preventing the skin and scabs from cracking with petroleum jelly. Lavender oil or diluted tea tree oil can reduce discomfort and itching.
These measures will not prevent a recurrence of cold sores. If cold sores are impacting your well-being, contact Atlanta Medical Dermatology Specialists today for effective solutions.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Jamie Weisman, Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc.
Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc.
5730 Glenridge Dr, Suite T-100
Atlanta, GA 30328
Monday – Thursday 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM