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About Cold Sores

I've got a cold sore - oh no!!!!!!!


Girl with Cold Sore Looking in Mirror

Girl with Cold Sore Looking in Mirror

Peter Dazeley / Getty Images

Experiencing the discomfort and humiliation of having a cold sore outbreak is not at all uncommon. There is no need to freak out when you have a cold sore and try to hide yourself from sight. Although the impulse to hide from others is understandable, it simply isn't feasible for most people to hide-a-away from work or other activities for the 8 to 10 days it takes for cold sore to heal on its own without treatment. That is longer than a vacation for most people. However, you can reduce the healing time, and even reduce the number of outbreaks, by employing a few prevention tips and treatment options.

There is no real cure for a cold sore, a viral infection known as herpes simplex. The same is true for the common cold and flu for that matter. All we can do is read the facts and make the best effort at making ourselves comfortable and reasonably well.

Cold Sore Facts

  • Approximately 40 million people are affected by cold sores each year.
  • Cold sores generally appear around the mouth and on the lips.

Factors That Can Activate Cold Sores or Fever Blisters

Many factors can bring on a break-out, basically, a cold sore is the result of a compromised immune system. This include:
  • Infections (i.e. colds)
  • Over exposure to sunlight
  • Fever
  • Refined sugars
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Hormonal changes

Cold Sore Symptoms and Stages

  1. Tingling discomfort or itching
  2. Redness and swelling
  3. Eruption of lesion
  4. Oozing of lesion
  5. Lesion dries and forms a thin yellowish scab

Cold Sore Treatments

Top Picks: Cold Sore Treatment and Prevention Products

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