Cold sores are small painful blisters or ulcers on your lips and inside your mouth caused by a virus called by Herpes Simplex Virus 1. Without treatment these will normally disappear within about two weeks. There is another herpes virus called Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (HSV-2) that is responsible for genital herpes commonly known simply as ‘herpes’. Although these viruses belong to the same family, in general, HSV-1 and HSV-2 cause different problems as outlined above.
How do you know you have them?
Normally an infection starts with a tingling sensation on your lips, gums or the inside of your cheeks. Then you get little clear blisters in the same area which become painful. These burst and form ulcers which may be even more painful! These ulcers then crust over and finally heal up.
What happens then?
Once the viruses that causes cold sores enter your body, they stay around and cold sores tend to occur again and again – alas! These reoccurrences may occur at times of stress, having your period, hurting your lip, and in too much sunlight.
There are effective treatments such as creams, so check these out with your local chemist or your family doctor.
Can you stop yourself from getting them?
Avoiding touching the cold sores and wash your hands frequently when you have them. This will help stop spreading them to others. Avoiding kissing someone with cold sores will help stopping you from getting them too!