There are a lot of sicknesses or conditions that seem to take us by surprise, mainly because we do not realize that we are actually showing the symptoms that we are developing it. Do you have itchy lips, or certain pains around your mouth? Are you down with a fever, or do you suddenly have swollen parts of the body—like your neck perhaps? These may seem like common or ordinary conditions, but these can actually be symptoms of developing cold sores.
Why am I developing cold sores?
Knowing the primary cause of a certain condition is essential in finding ways to prevent it. In this case, the primary cause for developing these cold sores is a virus called Herpes Simplex. “Simple” though it may be, it actually has two types: HSV-1 and HSV-2. Developing sores around your mouth area and your genital area are symptoms for both types, however HSV-1 mostly causes sores to pop up around your mouth, while HSV-2 mostly causes sores to the genitals. Getting this virus is as simple as coming into physical contact with the body fluids of a person that is infected with it. Some examples would be sexual contact with an infected person, drinking from a glass that an infected person had used, even kissing an infected person!
Moreover, once you are infected, you could develop cold sores again and again since there are no cures for the virus at the moment. Usually, the infection just goes back to the site of the infection and stays quiet for a while, as if readying itself for another attack.
How long do the cold sores last?
The cold sores may look bad and might get you worried enough to go see a doctor every time they pop up, but that is not always necessary. Cold sores usually last up to ten days—after which, the skin should return to normal. The cycle starts from the formation of blisters around your mouth or genital area, which develops or swells up until it contains fluids inside it. Eventually, these blisters collapse, allowing the skin to heal around that area. However, it might be more problematic if it lasts more than fourteen days, or if you find yourself experiencing other complications from it, so you should go see your doctor if that happens.
How do I prevent myself from getting infected?
It is always better to be safe than sorry. Be careful when using shared utensils, such as spoons, forks, drinking glasses, and the like, especially if you know an infected person is using them. Avoid coming into contact with body fluids of people who are infected, even if it’s “just” their saliva. If you are an infected parent, you may want to avoid kissing or sharing your utensils with your child, because children can come down with the virus too.
If you think you are developing the symptoms for these cold sores, seeing your doctor is absolutely necessary. Cases may vary from person to person, so always ask for a recommendation from your doctor regarding your own case. Always remember though, prevention is better than cure; just be careful when using objects that are for public use, or when using shared utensils.