Common health issue

What is a Cold Sore? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment Methods.

What is a Cold Sore?

Cold sore, also known as fever blisters, which are a common viral infection. However, they are tiny, fluid-charged blisters on and around your lips. These blisters are often collecting together in patches. After the blisters disintegrate, scab forms that can last many days. Cold sore usually cure in two to three weeks without leaving a scar.

However, cold sores increase from person to person by close contact, like kissing. However, they are usually affected by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and less familiarly herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Both of these viruses can influence your mouth or genitals and can be increased by oral sex. Cold sores are infectious even if you do not see the sores.

However, there is no proper treatment for cold sore, but some treatments can support manage outbreaks. Similarly, prescription antiviral pills or creams can support sores heal more quickly. And they may decrease the frequency, length, and more of future outbreaks.

Symptoms of Cold Sore

However, a cold sore usually passes through many stages:-

  • Tingling and itching: Severe people feel itching, burning, or tingling around the lips for a day or so before a small, hard, painful spot seems and blisters erupt.
  • Blisters: Small fluid-filled blisters typically break out along the border of your lips. Sometimes they seem around the nose or cheeks or inner part of the mouth.
  • Oozing and crusting: However, the small blisters may unite and then burst, leaving slight open sores that ooze and crust over.

However, some signs and symptoms may vary, based on whether this is your first outbreak or a recurrence. The earliest time you have a cold sore, symptoms may not begin for up to 20 days after you were first revealed to the virus. The sores can last many days, and the blisters can use two or three weeks to heal completely. In the earliest outbreak, you also might feel:-

  • Fever
  • Painful gums
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Those children under 5 years old may have this problem inside their mouth, and the lesions are familiarly mistaken for canker sore. Canker sore involves only the mucus membrane and is not affected by the herpes simplex virus.

Causes of Cold Sore

However, cold sores are affected by certain strains of the herpes simplex virus (HSV). HSV-1 usually creates cold sores. HSV-2 usually in charge of genital herpes. But either type can increase to the face or genitals through close contacts, like kissing or oral sex.

Cold sores are severely infectious when you have oozing blisters because the virus easily increases through contact with contagious body fluids. But you can increase the virus even if you do not have blisters. However, severe people who are infected with the virus that causes cold sores never build signs and symptoms. Recurrence may be targeted by:-

  • Viral infection or fever
  • Hormonal changes, like┬áthose related to menstruation
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Highly exposure to sunlight and wind
  • Changes in the immune system
  • Injury to the skin


In some people, the virus that creates cold sores can causes issues in other areas of the body, including:-

  • Fingertips: Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be increased to the fingers. However, this type of infection is often mentioned as herpes whitlow.
  • Eyes: Sometimes, the virus can cause an eye infection. Replicated infections can cause scarring and injury, which may guide to vision issues or loss of vision.
  • Widespread areas of skin: People who have a skin issue called atopic dermatitis (eczema) are at greater risk of cold sores increasing all across their bodies.


However, your health consultant can usually diagnose cold sores just by seeking at them. To confirm the diagnosis your consultant might take a sample from the blister for examination in a laboratory.


Colds sores are normally clear up without treatment in two to four weeks. However, most types of prescription antiviral medications may speed the healing process. Examples may include:-

  • Acyclovir (Zovirax)
  • Valacyclovir (Valtrex)
  • Famciclovir
  • Penciclovir (Denavir)

Lifestyle and home remedies

The over-the-counter cold sore ointment docosanol (Abreva) may precis the healing time of a cold sore. At the first sign of symptoms, apply it to the infected skin as directed on the package. However, this method supports preventing the increase of the sores to other parts of your body. To ease the discomfort of a cold sore:-

  • Try other cold sore remedies: However, some other over-the-counter preparations hold a drying agent like alcohol.
  • Use lip balms and cream: Safeguard your lips from the sun with a zinc oxide cream or lip balm with sunblock. However, if your lips become dry, use a moisturizing cream.
  • Apply a compress: A cold, damp cloth may decrease, help stop crusting and promote healing. Or try a warm compress to the blisters mitigate pain.

Last Updated on July 28, 2023 by john liam