What are Cold Sores or Herpes Simplex?
Herpes simplex is a common viral infection. If you’ve ever had a cold sore or fever blisters, you picked up the herpes simplex virus. Most cold sores are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). Other names for cold sores caused by HSV-1 are:
- Mouth Sores
- Oral Sores
Understanding Cold Sores
Some individuals who have the herpes simplex virus may never get a cold sore or fever blister. However, the virus that causes the cold sores cannot be cured so once an individual is infected with the virus, it typically stays in the body long term. While some may never show symptoms, others will have cold sores or blisters appear unexpectedly or without much warning. Those who have been infected should adhere to the following protocol to help prevent ongoing or unexpected breakouts:
- Avoid areas/events that trigger cold sores — the two most common are fatigue and UV light
- Always use lip balm with SPF to keep your lips moist and protected
- Wear sunscreen as too much sun exposure can cause blisters to flare up
- Do not share items that could spread the virus, such as lipstick, razors, straws, toothbrushes, etc.
- Wash your hands often
- Discuss how often you have breakouts so that you can be assessed for oral medication to prevent future outbreaks
Those diagnosed with HSV-1 should communicate to their partners that they carry this virus so that their partner can be made aware. Kissing and saliva exchange is one of the most common ways to transmit this condition. Our skin care professionals will educate you on both types of herpes simplex virus and treat you appropriately.
Treatment & Diagnosis of Herpes Simplex
There is no cure for herpes simplex. Cold sores come and go with treatment. Most everyone chooses to treat herpes simplex because treatment can relieve symptoms and shorten an outbreak. The most common form of treatment is with an antiviral medication. An antiviral cream or ointment can relieve the burning, itching, or tingling. An antiviral medicine that is oral (pills) or intravenous (shot) can shorten an outbreak of herpes.
Prescription antiviral medicines approved for the treatment of both types of herpes simplex include:
Schedule Your Consultation Today!
Getting a cold sore is never fun, and at Max Adler Dermatology in Dallas and Plano, TX we understand you want it controlled fast and effectively. We will work with you to diagnose the condition and then create a treatment plan so that future outbreaks are kept to a minimum. Call our office to learn more and schedule your appointment with one of our providers.
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If you would like to learn more about a possible condition or treatment, simply fill out the form below. Dr. Adler’s team will get back to you shortly.