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Cold Sore Symptoms – Know The Signs Of Cold Sores
The cold sore virus ‘HSV-1′ is one of the most common viruses on the planet. It is documented that an astonishing sixty percent of the world’s entire population are infected by the virus. The herpes simplex virus is split into two separate forms, HSV-1, which is the type that causes cold sores, is so many people, and HSV-2, which most commonly attacks the genitals.
HSV-1 is transferred from person to person through personal contact such as kissing when one of the two people has an active cold sore (sometimes known as a fever blister). Other ways the virus can be transferred include using the same eating utensils and razor blades. Cold sore symptoms will not always appear when first infected, if cold sore symptoms do appear when first infected then the outbreak may be more severe than in later cold sore outbreaks.
When you are infected with the cold sore virus it remains in your body for the rest of your life, reoccurring seemingly when it chooses. The body is unable to completely remove the virus; instead the virus remains in a nerve located by the cheekbone.
The virus may stay permanently inactive at this site or it may on occasions move down the nerve to the skin surface causing blisters and other cold sore symptoms. However there are many ways to prevent cold sores, they include choosing a healthier lifestyle and getting enough sleep.
The most obvious cold sore symptoms is the cold sore (or fever blister) itself. These will start with a tingling or burning sensation and within 24 hours turn into a blister before scabbing over and eventually disappearing, the whole process usually takes 7-14 days.
Other cold sore symptoms include:
- Ulcers on the inside of the mouth
- A high temperature or ‘fever’
- A sore throat
- Swollen glands in the neck
- Muscle Aches
- Drooling (in small children)
Cold Sore Symptoms – Medication
If you are suffering from cold sores then there are a variety of cold sore medications on the market that can help decrease the pain and the duration of the cold sore itself. Having tried dozens of different cold sore treatments over the past decade we believe these three to be the most effective:
- Abreva Cold Sore/Fever Blister Treatment
- Super Lysine Plus Cold Sore Ointment
- Orajel Single Dose Cold Sore Cream
The above three are our recommendations for those already suffering from cold sore symptoms or more specifically from a cold sore itself, to help prevent cold sores reappearing in the future then the information here will help.
Cold Sore Symptoms And Its Stages
Cold sore symptoms are very easy to identify. This is because they are usually the same in every cold sore on every person. When an outbreak occurs the infection can take up to 20 days from when you get the first symptoms to go completely. There are several stages to cold sore symptoms and we shall look at them step by step.
During this stage, you may experience some of the following: a headache, fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes. In addition you’ll also feel itching, burning and sensation around the affected area. This stage is also known as prodromal stage and will usually last a few days.
During this stage the affected area swells and small red pimple like bumps appear. They will then swell with the virus particles. During this stage, you may still experience a headache and fever. Try applying some ice wrapped in a clean cloth on them to soothe and reduce the inflammation.
The blister will then burst oozing out with the liquid inside. This is the most contagious stage as this can mean that you infect other parts of the mouth as the liquid is full of the fresh virus. What you are left with is an open wound which is painful and sore as it is at the end of the nerve.
Cold Sore Symptoms
One of the most intriguing factors of the herpes simplex virus 1 is that some people will never show any symptoms of signs of getting cold sores. Other people will show cold sore symptoms and then have their first outbreak. They may not ever have another, or they could have a couple of these outbreaks throughout the year.
It is a good idea to learn some of the cold sore symptoms so you can have a better idea of whether you might have the virus. Of course, visiting a doctor and having the appropriate tests for a diagnosis is the only way to know with any certainty.
What to Watch For
With cold sores, you will find lesions or blisters on the face or lips, or inside the mouth. In some cases, they can be inside the nostrils or even close to the eyes. You will feel pain in the area of the blisters, and you may even have swollen lips depending on the location of the blisters.
When you have the first infection and outbreak, you could have a sore throat and swollen glands, as well as an elevated body temperature. Some people may also feel nauseous and have headaches. Depending on the location of the blisters, it is also possible to have difficulty swallowing. The sores can last for several weeks.
In most cases, the symptoms that you had during the primary infection, or the first outbreak, are going to be the worst. The symptoms that you have with subsequent outbreaks should not be quite as bad, and in many cases, they don’t last as long.
Patients who have been dealing with recurrent cold sores say that there is often a few tell tale symptoms that they will start to feel a day or two before the cold sores appear. They may have a slight burning, itching, or tingling sensation near the sight of where the cold sores are going to appear. Often the sores start showing up in the same place.
What is Happening in Your Life?
You can find that some external factors in your life could cause you to start to see symptoms of a cold sore breakout. If you are under a lot of mental stress, or you are upset for some reason, it can exacerbate the problem and bring on more cold sore outbreaks. Intense sunlight is another factor that can cause the symptoms of cold sores to start to appear in those who have the virus.
If you have ever had a breakout of cold sores, then you are going to know when a recurrence is happening. Those who haven’t had outbreaks before but suddenly find themselves with the above cold sore symptoms will want to talk with a physician. Physicians can tell if you have cold sores by examining the sores, but they may also choose to order a blood test. The doctor may decide to let the cold sore get better without help, or he or she might prescribe some medicine for you.
Simple Truths Regarding Cold Sores and Their Symptoms
During the cold and flu season we are at risk of catching some sort of infection. The weather begins to change as it is now and we become more vulnerable to both. Catching a cold is easy enough to do and this could quickly turn into influenza during the flu season.
There are a few conditions which we can also contract during these periods of illness. One of the very irritating secondary aliments that could interfere with your life during this season of potential illness is the cold sore. The symptoms of a cold sore are not hard to miss.
Cold sore symptoms occur differently for each person who suffers with them and all break outs vary in severity to some degree. In order to successfully deal with cold sores will be determined by your ability to recognize the cold sore illness indicators that you are personally confronted with. To have any chance of managing the seriousness of your break out, containing it or putting it into remission entirely will be based on your collective information.
The hope is this article will provide you with the necessary facts to recognize your cold sore symptoms allowing you to select the optimal treatment. When you have acquired this informative data your chances of impeding any future break outs will be increased.
Many people already understand that cold sores are the result of the herpes virus, chiefly the herpes simplex virus 1, and occasionally herpes simplex virus 2. Ideally, the virus will stay latent and you will not be faced with any illness indicators of the cold sore.
Be advised however that when the cold sore virus starts acting up and you suffer an eruption, you must contend with numerous cold sore symptoms that crop up in cluster in a marked location.
It is likely that the initial cold sore symptoms one will experience are referred to as the itching phase. During this period the body is feeling the virus shifting from one cell to another in that nerve, heading to the surface. Though the itching is fairly standard, one may also have some dryness, tingling, and perhaps a burning feeling.
Truth: By the time the first symptoms are revealing themselves, the cold sore is itself is imminent, appearing in only a few hours time. Swift action on the part of the infective at this point can stop the virus in it tracks and redirect it back into dormancy.
There are some cold sore treatments available that will contain the illness and now is the time to use these therapies or at least some ice – on this eventual cold sore location. There is not available cure for cold sore virus but some treatments can be effectual.
Prompt action to stem the replication of the virus is critical to the eventual severity of the cold sore break out. Applying anything cold to the target location will at least act as a hindrance to the infection. The virus will perhaps present in a less virulent manner.
What occurs next is referred to as the inflammation phase. Your cold sore symptoms from this point will reveal small reddish bumps that can easily be confused with a pimple outbreak. These bumps will be firm and cause some discomfort or even real pain for some. These will start to become swollen and the host will begin to experience pain from the region of lymph glands due to their swelling in the jaw area. The cold sore sufferer will also experience headaches, sometime severe, an elevated temperature, and a feeling of fatigue.
Anything to drop the high temperature like pain relievers will aid the infective now. You might find a cold sore remedy that could assist with controlling the pain by numbing it. These things will only act as a mask to the symptoms of a cold sore and maybe offer some level of comfort but not much will help reduce the length of time the infection remains active. The symptoms will be lessened in severity but the virus will still run its course.
The symptom that follows this is when the cold sore itself begins to ulcerate or open up. When these red blisters break open they combine into one or more open lesions. This phase is the most unattractive period of time while the ulcer is draining a liquid that is absolutely laden with the fresh infectious virus. There will be renewed headaches, fever, and swollen lymph glands with pain at this point.
Truth: Even though the cold sore can be highly communicable from beginning to end, it is during the open ulcer and scabbing phase when it can be harmfully transmittable to those around you.
Alcohol can eradicate viruses while maintaining cleanliness within the lesion. The infective needs to exercise a high vigilance to prevent the spread of the illness, particularly into one’s own eyes as damage can occur because of this type of transmission.
Subsequent to the open wound phase, the crusting period will commence. During this phase there will be still more discomfort and troublesome cold sore symptoms. The area will be quite painful when touched for any reason. The flaxen coloured crusting will begin to crack when simply smiling, eating or conversing – causing even more soreness.
No surprise at this stage to continue to suffer from headache and elevated temperature. The swollen lymph glands will begin to return to their original size around this point. Some itching and quite a bit of soreness remains as the ulcer try to mend itself beneath the scab.
The scab could stay in place for upwards of a week or more. Even as fresh skin overtakes the region of the eruption, there will still be a red tinge visible along with a certain amount of tenderness. Underneath the skin the wound is still repairing itself. This will be a penetrating wound that will need some time to fully heal, perhaps one more week yet or longer. The high temperature should have ceased by this time with lymph glands almost returned to normal.
The infective must continue to remain careful since unfortunately yes, they will still be able to transmit the infection until the time that the red area has entirely disappeared.
The area of the infection can still be treated with ice or some form of cold sore treatment. Ice will bring some comfort whenever needed to quell a symptom though doing so can impede the healing process at this time by pushing blood from this region.
Decreasing the frequency or eradicating cold sores into dormancy could happen but they need to be discovered as early as possible for any form of containment therapy to be effective. Often called fever blister and canker sores, misdiagnosis of cold sore will delay proper treatment and the treatments for these other conditions are also unique to cold sore therapies.
Cold sores are painful and unsightly so naturally there is huge demand for effective treatments but no known cure is available at this time. Approximately ninety percent of the adult population is positive with herpes simplex virus 1, the ultimate cause of cold sores and of those forty percent will experience at least one eruption of cold sores annually. The good news is the older we get the less likely we are to experience cold sore symptoms.
The experience of cold sores is unpleasant and often painful. If you suffer from cold sores regularly you should consult with your physician for more detailed information regarding containment and means to avoid transmission to those around you, specifically those with whom you are intimate with.
The best way to deal with cold sores is prior to a break out, maintain a healthy immune system, and bolster your diet with plenty of antioxidant laden foods. Although the virus is incurable, having a strong and effective local immunity will aid in warding off the potential for colds and influenza lessening your risk of the secondary conditions such as cold sores.
Sabyasachi Rakshit is involved in healthcare market research since 2010. He loves to write about various healthcare topics such as herbal medicines, alternative health etc.