Cold Sores Symptoms and Treatment

Cold sores are also called fever blisters. They are common and can not be cured or prevented. But there are ways to reduce their frequency and shorten their duration.

Cold sore signs and Symptoms

If you feel a tingling on your lip (called prodome) and you feel a hard spot that you can not see. They maybe signs of an upcoming cold sore. In a day or two, you will see red blisters on your lip. These blisters are small, painful and fluid-filled, usually found on a raised, red area of the skin around your mouth.

Cold sores usually appear around or within the mouth area, including your gums or hard palate – the roof of your mouth. Cold sores can also occur on your nostrils, chin or your fingers.

The signs and symptoms of cold sore usually do not appear for 20 days after being exposed from the herpes simplex virus. Cold sore blisters form, then break and ooze. Then a yellow crust is formed then eventually sloughs off. The skin underneath is pink but will eventually heal without scars.

Cold sore treatment

Cold sores usually clear up after about a week to 10 days. Since there is no cure for cold sore, topical symptomatic treatments such as topical lidocaine or benzyl alcohol may be used to alleviate its symptoms.

To shorten the duration of cold sores, an antiviral medication maybe used. It could also decrease pain caused by cold sores. Antiviral medications are also prescribed to people with very frequent cold sore occurrences, usually as treatment or prevention.

When to seek medical advice

Cold sores are usually a non life threatening occurrences and usually clear up by themselves, after several days. However, consult you doctor:

  • if symptoms are severe
  • if after two weeks the cold sores still have not cleared on their own
  • if your eyes got irritated
  • if you have a pre-existing health condition that has compromised your immune system.

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