Cold sores are a contagious condition, known also as Fever Blister, which might have been caused by Herpes Simplex1 Virus (HSV-1). Cold sores can show up as single blister or in clusters and they recur in the same place a number of times, especially on the lips, nose, cheeks and chin.
The infecting virus affects us during our childhood and the virus never goes away, hiding or sleeping in the central nervous systems. When certain triggers activate these viruses, it results in cold sores. Such triggers can be menstruation, sunlight, fever, dry chapped condition of lips, stress and skin trauma.
You can almost be certain that a cold sore is coming up, since it has distinct symptoms like burning or tingling sensation, redness and itching around lips or mouth. This is the first stage of symptoms. Sometimes you may retire at the night without these symptoms but wake up to find a cold sore starring at you.
In the next phase, it forms into a blister or a cluster of them. Later, it breaks with a yellow crust on it. In a couple of days, the crust will fall off and you will have a pinkish skin, which heals without leaving a scar.
Since cold sores are infectious and the virus passes on from individuals to individual, from one place in our body to other places, by skin-to-skin contact, it can be transmitted through oral sex and by contaminated fingers.
Cold sores cannot be prevented and you can only reduce their severity. Usually they vanish without any treatment within a week or so. You can treat in the early stages when you experience tingling or burning sensation and stop formation of blisters or get the blister to heal quickly.
There are a number of over-the-counter products to treat this condition and your pharmacist in the neighborhood can help you. To prevent cold sores from attacking you, you can use lip moisturizes to prevent lips from getting chapped, avoid stress and overexposure to sun, and when you are stressed try to relax.
Ensure your immune system is strong through healthy diet and having good sleep. Don’t kiss people when you notice blisters, and also avoid sharing food, cups, glasses or towels when you notice blisters. Keep the hands clean by washing them as frequently as you can.