Getting Rid Of Those Pesky Cold Sores Fast!

Cold sores, also known as “fever blisters,” typically appear around the mouth, face or nose. They are often small and painful and caused by coming into contact with an infected person, such as through sharing utensils or drinks. Some children can also contract fever blisters from infected adults who give them harmless kisses to their lips or face. They are common in children, particularly during the preschool years when children are often careless with how they interact with peers and what they put to their mouth.

Symptoms of Cold Sores

Cold sores are caused by herpes simplex virus type one, known as HSV-1; type 2, HSV-2, refers to lesions in the genital area. HSV-2 can be spread through various means, but the most common is through sexual interaction; therefore, this strain of herpes simplex is far less common among children. HSV-1 is rarely serious. The sores usually go away within seven days without any medicinal intervention.

The first indication of cold sores is the formation of blisters on the lips or inside the mouth. The blisters are often small at first, although they can be quite painful, before they become actual sores. In more serious cases, other parts of the mouth are affected – gums can become red and swollen, for example. Fever can develop, as well as muscle aches, swollen neck glands, moodiness and difficulty eating. Although the sores can disappear within a week, symptoms can hang on for up to two weeks.

Unfortunately, both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can lie dormant after an initial infection. This means that although your child exhibits no symptoms, the cold sore can reactivate later after being triggered by certain stressors, like a cold. For girls, menstrual periods can activate the virus. Other triggers include stress and hormonal changes. Once the virus is awakened again, it can cause tingling around the mouth, which typically predisposes a blister. Unfortunately, there are no medications that can eradicate HSV-1; however, there are some available to ease the painful symptoms and shorten the duration of the outbreak. Acetaminophen can help, as well as cool foods and drinks.

Getting Rid of Cold Sores

Although most cold sore outbreaks don’t develop into serious medical conditions, there are times when you may need to call the doctor. If the infection doesn’t heal itself within 10 days, or if any sores develop on other parts of the face – specifically the eyes – it’s best to seek the help of a physician. You may also want to arrange a doctor visit if your child gets cold sores frequently or if the fever blisters develop in conjunction with another illness in which your child’s immune system may be compromised. A weakened immune system can make the rest of the body susceptible to the infection. Because cold sores are so contagious, parents must make sure that their infected child practices good hygiene and doesn’t share drinking glasses or utensils. They should also wash their hands frequently and avoid touching their eyes. As a parent caring for an infected child, you should also be sure to wash your own hands.

Over the counter remedies for cold sores are widely used and can be effective in reducing the pain associated with the cold or canker sore. Most local pharmacies and drug stores carry these medications with the most popular ones being Orajel, Abreva, and Carmex which all help treat the pains associated with the sore. Also, check out your local health food stores as they may have a natural remedy for cold sores. The most popular natural remedies include Lemon Balm, Peppermint Oil and Lysene which can be taken as a supplement to help shorten the duration of the cold sore.

Should your child develop an infection, don’t panic. It may be uncomfortable for several days, but it will typically take care of itself. The best action is to take is to try to alleviate the symptoms as best you can and avoid spreading the infection to others – including yourself.

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