Cold sores or herpes labialis is the condition where blisters in flaming red colour make their appearance on the face of the sufferer. The term labia refer to the lips, and this is because the blisters are mostly commonly found to occur on the lips and surrounding regions. Sometimes, the blisters can also spread to the chin, cheek and ears. In rare cases, it may also spread to the eye area and in this case the infection is quite severe.
What happens when a person contracts herpes labialis
Herpes labialis is caused by the herpes simplex virus, which is also responsible for genital herpes. The main factor about this virus is that it is one that survives in the body of the patient for years to come and remains dormant till its next outbreak.
Once the virus is active it reacts with the nerve endings in the body causing the body discomfort. As a result, the person suffering from it experiences blisters that are produced in reaction to the presence of this virus. Afterwards, the virus remains dormant in the nervous ganglia, waiting for an opportunity to again come into play.
Seasonal recurrence—causes and difficulties
The dormant herpes simplex virus that is present in the body of a person, who has suffered a cold blister, again becomes active when the immunity of the person is reduced and it becomes powerful. This normally occurs when the person suffers a cold, fever or takes medicines that contain immunosuppressant.
Once the virus completes the incubation period of 2 days, it manifests as a cold sore in deep red at the spot where the lips join the skin. It is usually sensitive to touch and is highly uncomfortable. After a couple of days, the pus filled blister cracks and liquid oozes out of it. This liquid is filled with virus and this spreads to anyone in contact with it. Afterwards, a crust is formed on the surface of the pustule. This crust is easily dislodged when the person smiles or eats and it can take several days for the skin to heal and return to normalcy following the bursting of the blister.
People, who have suffered from herpes labialis once, will often find the condition returning again during the span of their lifetime. About 60% of sufferers will have another occurrence in the coming year itself.
Natural remedies and treatment options
Since this is a viral condition, it is effectively combated using antiviral medication. This includes topical applications and also tablets that are attached to the site of the blister using an adhesive surface that maximize the effectiveness of the medication.
Topical analgesics are found to have effect in reducing the severity of the condition too. These, when applied to the spot numb the painful sensation and provide considerable relief. Herpes.labial.net mentions that hot and cold packs are a natural method to treat the pain associated with cold blisters. Healthy diet plans are recommended for the management of the immunity of sufferers. This will keep the condition at bay for a considerable duration of time.
There are certain factors that trigger the onset of cold sores. These include fatigue, stress and fever. It is also quickly caused by flus and other infections that drastically reduce the general immunity of the body and trigger the action of the HSV1 virus.
Since this disease is easily spread, it can help to take special measures when it is in the stage of spreading. This includes avoiding visits to the dentist when the blister is active or sharing food and drink with anyone when suffering from it. The fluid that is contained in the pus filled vesicles is complete with virus particles that spread and replicate in a new host. Should the pus ooze out of the cracks, it is necessary to avoid it from touching other surfaces and to not reuse the cloth or tissues used to clear it up.
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Thanks for your valuable Comments..!!October 10, 2014 - 4:19am
Welcome to the EmpowHER community. Thank you for submitting such an informative article on cold sores. Understanding the triggers and knowing treatment options can be so helpful when an outbreak occurs.
Regards,October 9, 2014 - 9:00am