Cold sores, sometimes called fever caused injury is a grouping of small blisters on the lip located on the outer edge of the mouth. The skin around the blisters is often red and inflamed. The blisters break and exhibited (remove) a clear liquid and a few days a scab forms. Complete healing can take up to 7 -10 days.
Cold sores is caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two types of herpes simplex virus (HSV). Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) causes injuries to the lips and mouth (herpes labialis), while herpes virus type 2 (HSV-2) most often causes genital herpes. However the two types of virus can cause cold sores with two locations if skin comes in contact with the virus.
Herpetic lesion is composed of vesicles that are located at the edge of the lips and external (external angle) of the mouth, caused by herpes simplex virus infection. The blisters break, remove liquid and then spontaneously forms a crust healing occurs after a few days. Other symptoms may include:
- Inflammation of the mouth that makes the usual activities, such as eating, drink and sleep, to be uncomfortable. Cold sores can be painful
- Sore throat
- Enlargement of the lymph nodes in the neck
- Excessive drooling toddlers.
It is possible that at the time of infection with herpes simplex lesion does not occur. If you still occurs, cold sores can be more severe than the following recurrences. During the first recurring blisters can spread to any part of the mouth.
Once infected patient, herpes simplex virus remains in the body and can lead to recurrence of herpetic lesions throughout life (recurrent cold sores). Most patients were 3 to 4 recurrences per year, although a small number of patients had more than one recurrence per month.
Recurrent cold sores usually develop in the area of intersection between the lip and facial skin. Before 6 to 48 hours to become visible sores, you may experience tingling, burning, pruritus genital (itchy skin), paresthesia (numbness), increased sensitivity or pain in the affected area, which is known as the prodromal stage.
Some of the factors that may trigger recurrent cold sores are:
Exposure to the sun, especially the lips
- Other infections, such as colds or flu
- Food Allergies
- Dental treatment
- Damage to the lips or gums
A weakening of the immune system, either due to drugs (such as corticosteroids) or an autoimmune disease
A plastic surgery, such as removing superficial layers of the skin (a controlled abrasion) or by laser facelift
- Hormonal variations caused by the female menstrual cycle
- People with a weakened immune system are more susceptible to recurrent cold sores, more severe and longer lasting than those with a normal immune system. Herpes simplex virus infection can endanger health in people with a weakened immune system.
Anyone who is exposed to herpes simplex virus (HSV) is likely to develop cold sores. However some people may have the virus, but may never develop damage.
People with weakened immune systems have a higher risk of developing severe recurrent herpetic lesions and a longer period of time.
There is a form of herpes virus infection is most common in children between 1 and 3 years. This type of herpes virus infection (called primary herpetic stomatitis) can cause high fever and vesicles located anywhere around the mouth, which can interfere with the act of eating. The disease can be serious in children – their general may be severely impaired – although her illness has improved without any long term problems.
Your doctor can diagnose cold sores by history, asking questions to find out if this patient has been exposed to infection with herpes simplex virus (HSV) and by examining the patient. Not normally required further investigation.
There are two types of herpes simplex virus. Type 1 yes the lip and mouth sores (herpes labialis), while Type 2 causes genital herpes.
However, if skin comes in contact with the two types of virus, they can cause cold sores in both locations.
If the diagnosis is uncertain herpetic lesion should be performed to confirm the existence of herpes virus test. Your doctor harvested a small amount of fluid from a vesicle and send it for testing. Harvesting is usually devoid of discomfort to the patient, even if the lesion is sensitive or painful.
There is no cure for cold sores, as there is no treatment for the virus that causes herpes simplex. Most cold sores will go away. But still, the drugs may slightly reduce the duration of persistent lesions and sometimes prevent a future relapse.
Drug treatment depends on the time evolution of cold sores (if the patient is at first recurrence, if you had several recurring) or if you are trying to prevent future recurrences.
When treating the first recurrent oral herpes antiviral medications can reduce pain and shorten healing.
In the treatment of recurrent cold sores these drugs can reduce the severity and duration of illness:
- Topical creams or ointments that can be purchased with or without a prescription, can reduce pain, genital pruritus (itching) or during the healing
- Oral antiviral drugs that can be bought only by prescription, is used when the first symptoms (such as burning or itching). These drugs have minimal effect when the damage has already been developed
- Oral antivirals may also be administered daily, especially those who have frequent recurrent painful just to prevent these relapses.
If a patient has a weakened immune system and make cold sores, it may need higher doses of drugs to control symptoms or daily medication to prevent appellants.
Although rare, children and adults with a weakened immune system require antibiotics during an episode of herpes to treat severe bacterial infection that can occur.
The first episode of herpes can be so painful that the patient may have difficulty when trying to eat, drink or sleep. A child who has fever and cold sores in the mouth must be helped to drink water and other fluids to prevent dehydration.
Adults or other children with a first episode of herpes pain can sometimes require prescription by prescription to reduce pain.
No treatment alternative to traditional medicine has not been proven in clinical trials to be effective in the treatment or prevention of herpes. However some complementary treatments are available if the patient wants to try an alternative method to reduce symptoms.
Vitamin C supplements of lysine, lemon balm are examples of complementary treatments and can provide an improvement in symptoms during recurrences of herpes.
One study showed that a topical cream with zinc oxide / glycine can effectively treat herpes herpes and reduce the relapse up to 5 days.
The cream should be applied 4 times a day as soon as during relapse (during the first 24 hours of the appearance of the lesion) to be effective. More studies are needed to confirm the result.
Most cold sores heal itself. Anyway patient may relieve symptoms at home through:
- Applying a cold wet towel and injuries 3 times per day for 20 minutes at each place to reduce redness and swelling
- Taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce pain. Aspirin should not be given to any person under the age of 20 years due to the risk of developing Reye syndrome
- Using a solution containing baking soda to rinse the mouth to reduce inflammation
- Avoiding foods that contain acid (such as citrus or tomatoes)
- Using ointments (salves) without prescription (such as Orajel or Anbesol) that numbs the inflamed area of the mouth or lips.
It can reduce the frequency of herpes recurrences taking care to:
- Avoid prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays of the lips (you can wear a hat to shade the mouth region)
- Avoid intimate contact (such as kissing) of people who have cold sores and genital
- Use solar UV filter cream applied daily to both lips and face, especially in areas where there are herpes lesions can occur
- Avoid foods that cause herpes recurrences
- Avoid sharing of towels, razors, tableware (silverware), or other objects that a person with herpes you could have used.
The following measures can prevent herpes contamination in children:
- As frequent hand washing
- Prohibit the use of toys that other children have put in mouth
- Disinfection at a certain time toys
- Isolating children at home when herpes vesicles spontaneously break and remove fluid that contains the virus until scabs form over the lesions when
- Do not leave children to kiss each other when they have herpes or drooling excessively
- Use gloves when applying ointment herpes lesions than children.