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Cold sores are viral infections that are spread by close contact with another person. They are very common. In fact, whether their symptoms have manifested or not, 90% of adults worldwide test positive for this virus.

Cold sores have three general stages.

  1.      There is an itching or tingling sensation, normally around the lips, which usually lasts a day or so.
  2.      Small blisters materialize, lasting several days.
  3.      The blisters burst, leaving open sores that leak fluid and then crust over and finally fade away.

This entire process typically takes anywhere from two to four weeks. Sadly, there is no cure for the cold sore virus. Fortunately, there are ways to alleviate your symptoms. Here are some pointers:

– Over-the-counter cold sore creams such as Abreva, rubbing alcohol, or even lip balm like Carmex can accelerate recovery.

– Cool compresses and pain relieving creams can help with discomfort.

– Is your breakout more severe than usual? Your doctor can offer further treatment, which may include a prescription antiviral drug.

Want to reduce the likelihood of getting new cold sores? This advice may help:

– Cold sores tend to show up in the exact place where they appeared the first time, so you’ll want to watch and care for those areas.

– Cold sores are often prompted to appear by sunlight exposure. Are you are going out in the sun for a while? Apply sunblock to your lips or other any areas where the cold sores usually appear.

– Cold sores may be brought about by stress or weariness. Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night and practice stress management techniques.

If you have more questions, you can call Smiles by Design Dental Care in Apple Valley, Minnesota, at 952-432-9155. Dr. Fred Hermanson and our dental team would be happy to serve you.