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FAQs

We know that many of you have a lot of questions about cold sores; that's why we are here to help you. Let's talk about some of the frequently asked questions.


Who gets cold sores?

Anyone who is infected with the HSV-1 virus can get cold sores. In some cases, some adults with HSV-2 infection can also have cold sores. About 20% to 40% of people are thought to be susceptible to outbreaks, while others may carry the virus but not show visible symptoms.

How do you prevent cold sores?

HSV-1 is contagious; even sharing of things like towels can pass it. Minimize having direct contact with people who are infected with the virus. 

Why won't the immune system just kill the herpes virus?

The healthy immune system just controls the herpes virus during an outbreak and during its dormant stage.

Cold sore on bottom lip

Stress as a cause

What factors triggers outbreaks?

Exact factors that can trigger an outbreak are hard to identify. There is a lot of variation among different individuals. Triggers can be a genetic factor or environmental factors such as immune health and stress. Here are other factors that trigger outbreaks in many people:

Fever or Illness | Menstruation or Other Hormonal Changes | Infections | Diabetes | Hyperthyroidism | Fatigue, Lack of Sleep | UV Exposure | Windburn | Dry Lips | Dental Treatment | Allergic Reactions | Physical Injuries

What is the point of cold sore treatment?

The goal of the treatment is to reduce viral multiplication. It also minimizes the impact of the inflammatory response on cold sore development and progression.


What is the typical course of a cold sore outbreak?

The cold sore infection follows a predictable course. Here are the following stages that a cold sore goes through:

• Prodromal Stage—This is a precursor symptom before the outbreak. Although any visible symptoms may not appear at this stage, you will feel some tingling, burning or itching. It usually occurs in the first 24 hours of a cold sore, and many treatments are most effective when taken at this stage.

• Inflammation—Viruses multiply fast in the first three days, and the cells react by causing inflammation to combat this. Blisters may begin to form in clumps and be sensitive to touch.

• Open Lesions—The virus is extremely contagious at this stage. On the fourth or fifth day, the blisters may break open and a fever may occur. This is often the most painful time during a cold sore outbreak.

• Crusting—A yellowish to brownish crust will form at this stage. This is an important part of the healing process and may last 7 to 8 days.

• Healing—A scab forms as new skin begins to form underneath. Although the virus is retreating back to its latent stage, the area may still itch and be irritating.

After Treatment Smile