Cold sores are small, painful blisters which usually form on the lips or around the mouth and can usually last around 7-10 days. They first start out as a small red patch, which then develop into a blister and eventually scab up and heal.
Cold sores are cause by a strain of herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). They are highly contagious can be transmitted from person to person with direct contact. However, they are not usually serious and can be treated with medication.
A person may be infected with the virus long before a blister forms. This usually starts off with a burning, itching or tingling feeling, which then forms into a cold sore. After the first time you’ve had a cold sore your body should make antibodies and you may never get another one again. However, some people do suffer from frequent recurring cold sores whilst others can go without never having one. The virus is often activated by certain triggers. If you’ve had one before then it’s likely, you’ll be aware if its returning. Triggers can vary from person to person, but the most common triggers seem to be sunlight, illnesses, fatigue, stress and menstruation.
There is no cure for cold sores. Once you’re infected it stays dormant in your body, until its triggered again. We offer a range of oral antiviral medication to help treat cold sores. Antiviral medications can help speed up the healing process, especially if you start taking them earlier on at the first sign of an outbreak.