Learn about the three stages of a cold sore outbreak. Plus, get simple tips and treatment options to alleviate the pain and discomfort Treatments and Tips to Feel Better Faster. Print. By Christina Donnelly Cold sores—otherwise known as fever blisters—are an extremely common infection that cause a small blister or a group of small blisters to form around the mouth and nostrils. If you’ve ever had a cold sore, you’re certainly not alone. Researchers have found that more than half of Americans aged 14 to 49 carry the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV)—the virus that causes cold sores to develop—and approximately 90 percent of Americans will have at least one cold sore during their lifetime. So, how has the virus become so prevalent among American adults?
Cold sores are red, fluid-filled blisters that form near the mouth or on other areas of the face. In rare cases, cold sores may appear on the fingers, nose, or inside the mouth. They’re usually clumped together in patches. Cold sores may persist for two weeks or longer. A common virus called herpes simplex causes cold sores. They can spread from person to person through close contact, such as kissing.
The sores are contagious even when they’re not visible. There’s no cure for cold sores, and they may return without warning. Certain medications can be used to treat cold sores and prevent them from coming back. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. There are two types of the herpes simplex virus. The herpes simplex type 1 virus (HSV-1) usually causes cold sores, and the (HSV-2) usually causes . The actual sores are similar in appearance for both forms of the virus.
It’s also possible for HSV-1 to cause sores on the genitals and for HSV-2 to cause sores on the mouth. Visible cold sores are contagious, but they may be spread even when they can’t be seen.
You can get the herpes simplex virus by coming in contact with infected individuals. This may happen through kissing, sharing cosmetics, or sharing food. Oral sex may spread both cold sores and genital herpes.
Reinfection Once you get the herpes simplex virus, it can’t be cured but it can be managed. Once the sores have healed, the virus remains dormant in your body.
This means that new sores can appear at any time when the virus reactivates. Some people with the virus report more frequent outbreaks when their immune systems are weak, such as during illness or times of stress. You may notice a tingling or burning sensation on your lips or face several days before a cold sore develops. This is the best time to . Once the sore forms, you’ll see a raised, red blister full of fluid.
It will usually be painful and tender to the touch. There may be more than one sore present. The cold sore will remain for up to two weeks and will be contagious until it crusts over. Your first cold sore may not appear for up to 20 days after you contract the herpes simplex virus. You may also experience one or more of the following symptoms during an outbreak: • • • You should call your doctor immediately if you develop any eye symptoms during a cold sore outbreak.
Infections caused by the herpes simplex virus can lead to permanent vision loss when they’re not treated promptly. A cold sore goes through five stages: • Stage 1: Tingling and itching occurs about 24 hours before blisters erupt.
• Stage 2: Fluid-filled blisters appear. • Stage 3: The blisters burst, ooze, and form painful sores. • Stage 4: The sores dry out and scab over causing itching and cracking.
• Stage 5: The scab falls off and the cold sore heals. According to the Mayo Clinic, 90 percent of adults worldwide test positive for the herpes simplex type 1 virus. Once you have the virus, certain risk factors may reactivate it such as: • infection, fever, or • sun exposure • • or a weakened immune system • menstruation • • • • dental work You’re at risk of getting a cold sore if you come in contact with the fluid of a cold sore through kissing, sharing foods or drinks, or sharing personal care items such as toothbrushes and razors.
If you come in contact with the saliva of someone who has the virus, you can get the virus, even if there are no visible blisters. The initial infection of herpes simplex can cause more severe symptoms and complications, as your body hasn’t built up a defense to the virus yet.
Complications are rare, but can occur, especially in young children. Call your doctor immediately if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms: • high or persistent fever • difficulty breathing or • with or without discharge Complications are more likely to occur in people who have eczema or a condition that weakens their immune system, such as or AIDS.
If you do have any of these conditions, contact your doctor if you think you’ve contracted the herpes simplex virus. There’s no cure for cold sores, but some people with the herpes simplex virus rarely have outbreaks. When cold sores do develop, there are several ways to treat them.
Ointments and creams When cold sores become bothersome, you may be able to control pain and promote healing with antiviral ointments, such as penciclovir (Denavir). Ointments tend to be most effective if they’re applied as soon as first signs of a sore appear. They will need to be applied four to five times per day for four to five days.
Docosanol (Abreva) is another treatment option. It’s an over-the-counter cream that can shorten an outbreak by anywhere from a few hours to a day. The cream must be applied several times per day. Find Abreva on Amazon. Medications Cold sores can also be treated with oral antiviral medications, such as (Zovirax), (Valtrex), and (Famvir). These drugs are available by prescription only. Your doctor may instruct you to take antiviral medications regularly if you’re experiencing complications with cold sores or if your outbreaks are frequent.
Home remedies Symptoms may be eased by applying ice or washcloths soaked in cold water over the sores. Alternative treatments for cold sores include using lip balm containing lemon extract. Taking lysine supplements on a regular basis is associated with less frequent outbreaks for some people. Aloe vera, the cooling gel found inside the leaves of the aloe plant, may bring cold sore relief. Apply aloe vera gel or aloe vera lip balm to a cold sore three times a day.
A such as Vaseline won’t necessarily heal a cold sore, but it may ease discomfort. The jelly helps prevent cracking. It also serves as a protective barrier against outside irritants. is a natural astringent that may help dry out and heal cold sores, but it can sting with application. demonstrated that witch hazel has antiviral properties that may inhibit the spread of cold sores. Even so, the verdict is still out on whether cold sores heal faster if they’re kept moist or dry.
Find witch hazel on Amazon. Always apply , creams, gels, or ointments to cold sores using a clean cotton swab or cotton ball. and cold sores both cause pain and discomfort, but that’s where their similarities end. Canker sores are ulcers that occur on the inside of the mouth, tongue, throat, and cheeks. They’re usually flat lesions. They’re not contagious and are not caused by the herpes simplex virus. Cold sores are usually found on the lips and outside the mouth.
They’re highly contagious. Cold sores are raised and have a “bubbly” appearance. To prevent spreading cold sores to other people, you should wash your hands often and avoid skin contact with others. Make sure you don’t share items that touch your mouth, such as lip balm and food utensils, with other people during an outbreak.
You can help prevent the reactivation of the cold sore virus by learning your triggers and taking steps to prevent them. Some prevention tips include: • If you get cold sores when you’re in the sun, apply a zinc oxide lip balm before soaking up some rays. • If a cold sore pops up each time you’re stressed, practice such as meditation and journaling.
• Avoid kissing anyone who has a cold sore, and do not perform oral sex on anyone who has active genital herpes. Healthline and its partners may receive a portion of revenues if you make a purchase using one of the the links above.
best early dating stages of a cold sore fast - How To Get Rid Of Cold Sores
• • • • • Attempting to navigate the dating scene can be complicated under normal conditions, but a cold sore outbreak can make matters worse. Should I go on a date with cold sores? What is the cold sore dating etiquette? It is my first date, and I have a cold blister. How can I manage the relationship without feeling embarrassed?
These are just a few of the questions that we’ll be looking at closely. Physical appearance is really important when dating.
Whether right or wrong, people do judge others based on the way that they look, especially when they’re younger.
And, right or wrong, they may reach incorrect assumptions about the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). There is so much confusion surrounding the subject, and some people think that a cold sore is a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
Obviously, a cold sore is contagious, but it’s not an STD. Not everybody has the medical knowledge to understand the . In the complex world of dating, you must first display the right amount of courage. Should you cancel a date because of a cold sore? The final answer could well be determined by your level of self-confidence and the level of maturity of the person that you’re dating.
Would you go on a date if you were able to cover up a cold sore and heal faster? Well, you could use a to help to treat the condition and make it significantly less noticeable. We just want you to be aware that it isn’t all doom and gloom. Advantages of Going on a Date with Cold Sores You have a date tonight.
Good relationships have always eluded you, but you are eager for another chance. Cold sore and all, you are poised and ready to face the music. Now that you have confidence on your side what are the actual positives of dating with a cold sore?
• You allow the other person to see you at your worst. If a romantic relationship develops, they will eventually know everything about you, both literally and figuratively, as time goes on anyway. That said, it can still be . • Stepping on the scene with a cold sore, especially on a first date, can be viewed as confidence. You are essentially telling your date this is me, here I am, so take it or leave it. Will this frame of mind work? You might be surprised by the positive response you receive.
Displaying your true self and being genuine can go a long way. Yes, that’s true, even with a red blister on your lip. • If you have an engaging sense of humor the cold sore could be used to strike up a conversation.
Seriously. After all, we are all human and have our physical flaws from time to time. Why not make a joke about it? • Take it all in stride and shake it off.
What if you accept a date and get food in your teeth? Are you going to get up from the table and leave or just laugh things off? If the date is important enough, you will choose the person over your fear of rejection. • Your current dating status can also work in your favor as a positive. While taking a leap of faith on the first date can show confidence, engaging in multiple dates can display trust.
Have you developed a sense of comfort with the person you are dating? If so, they probably do not care too much about your unfortunate blemish. In fact, they probably have a few flaws of their own. Disadvantages of Dating with a Cold Sore Do you have a date tonight?
Have you have mastered the cold sore etiquette or would you rather cancel your date and play it safe? Here are a few negatives that could transpire if you decide to put your cold sore on display.
• Let’s not ignore the elephant in the room. The first con of accepting a date while sporting a cold sore is a complete embarrassment. If the sore is noticed and your companion is turned off immediately, it is likely all downhill from there. Some people find that , regardless of whether it’s the judgments of other people or an erosion of self-confidence.
• Confidence killer. While some people can deal with virtually any situation, others simply struggle. If you are unable able to cope with cold sore dating etiquette the night could be over before it begins. The inability to deal with your shortcoming could ruin the entire rendezvous. As noted earlier, simply displaying the best version of yourself is critical in dating. For some people sporting a cold sore is enough to kill their self-esteem.
• Do you really want to subject yourself to the explaining game? Are you uncertain how to tell someone you have a cold sore? Is it just too much trouble to engage? If you feel that jumping through these hoops is too exhausting, dating is potentially not a wise decision. • Are you greatly concerned about spreading the virus? Will that first date kiss have more implications outside of the obvious?
Are you concerned ? If you are uncertain about these questions, you might want to reconsider your plans. Important Precautions when Dating with HSV 1 This particular portion of the cold sore dating saga comes down to basic respect. Not only respect for your companion but a general respect for yourself.
Although choosing to disclose your status is your decision, taking personal responsibility while on a date is paramount. Whether your date actively knows about your HSV 1 status or not, you do. Listed below are several activities you should avoid on date night if you have a cold sore: • Never share drinks. Simply entertaining the thought of . • Whether you have dated this person for 10 minutes or 10 months, avoid kissing if you have a cold sore.
Especially an exposed blister. If your companion is willing to kiss you with a sore, they are likely willing to wait for healing. • No sharing of cigarettes.
Sharing tobacco products should be off limits. This is yet another dangerous way of exposing your date to HSV 1. • The mutual use of the same utensils is also ill-advised.
Keep your folks and spoons to yourself. • Is holding hands a smart move? Touching his face could result in him/her becoming infected. While most of the precautions noted above are common sense, they are still critical.
Taking personal responsibility is an admirable quality. Attempting to is one thing. Exposing your date to a virus is quite another. Heal Cold Sores & Find Love Faster Once you have decided to take the dating game by the horns, it is important to patch your sore. Courtesy of various supplements and cover-up aides you can still entertain your date while also disguising your blemish. • The . Since the herpes simplex virus (HSV 1) cannot be eradicated overnight, a cover-up is essential.
Abreva and Quantum Health also offer similar invisible patches that can provide a quick fix. • New to the market, the topical balm known as is a positive treatment method. Containing natural ingredients, HERP-B-GONE is FDA approved and comes with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee or your money back. • If the rapid healing approach is more intriguing than a patch, the could be your answer. Courtesy of special wavelength light technology, the Virulite machine can stimulate healing quite fast.
In fact, this breakthrough treatment can potentially heal a cold sore in half the time compared to traditional topical ointments. If a date has been scheduled, and you have multiple days to prepare, this product could be a worthy option. While relationships can come and go, unfortunately so can cold sores. Regardless of the products you choose to utilize you can always keep them handy if another outbreak occurs.
These products are especially critical if you are not disclosing HSV 1 with your date. Healthy Relationships & Cold Sores Education, respect for your date, and self-confidence are essentially the three biggest takeaways from this material. If you feel as though your scheduled date is a “can’t miss” opportunity then refuse to miss it.
The pain of regret could potentially be worse than the appearance of a cold sore. Life is about taking risks and putting yourself in uncomfortable situations. If you arm yourself with knowledge regarding HSV 1, confidence, respect, and a touch of humor, everything will be okay. Just be honest and take the necessary precautions to keep your date safe from getting infected.
While cold sores will eventually go away on their own, they have to go through several different stages first. Unfortunately, the later stages, like blistering and scabbing, can be the most painful and embarrassing.
When you know how to stop a cold sore in the early stages, it will heal faster and be less painful. Knowing the is important when you want to treat it quickly. If you’re prone to outbreaks, you know the signs better than anyone.
However, one of the early signs of a blister includes tingling around the mouth. This can happen before a blister even appears. Fever blisters are a recurring condition. Once you have the herpes simplex virus within you, you can experience outbreaks the rest of your life. However, knowing what to do to stop a cold sore before it starts can greatly reduce the inconvenience they might typically add to your life.
Because early symptoms of a blister show up a few days before the formation of the cold sore, you should have enough time to start treatment, so that you can avoid much of the pain and ugliness that goes along with a cold sore. How to Stop a Cold Sore Fast In this article, we’ll cover 7 different ways to . Most people are quick to complain about the pain and irritation that a blister can cause, especially when it starts to burst open or crust over.
If you can avoid those stages, perhaps the process wouldn’t feel so bad. Some of these solutions may also help to reduce the frequency or severity of future outbreaks when used regularly.
If you experience flare-ups frequently, using them on a consistent basis can work as a great preventative measure. Some people seem to be more prone to cold sore outbreaks than others. If that sounds like you, any of the following solutions can be useful to keep in mind.
• Virulite Electronic Cold Sore Treatment Instead of applying messy gels, the focuses on using light pulses to get rid of a cold sore in 72 hours. By using the device at the first sign of a cold sore, you can help to alleviate painful symptoms, and speed up the healing time significantly. The Virulite system is an FDA-approved device. The technology it uses gets rid of cold sores with nothing more than specialized light bursts. Not only is it easy to use, but there are no negative side effects associated with it.
In just a few minutes a day, you can treat your cold sore. It is also designed to help reduce the intensity of future outbreaks. While it may be considered an investment compared to topical creams, if you get cold sores frequently, it’s a quick and painless way to get rid of them at the start.
• Lysine This is an amino acid that is commonly used to treat cold sores in any stage. As an early treatment option, it uses its antiviral properties to stop the herpes simplex virus in its track, and lessen the severity of a cold sore.
Many people who have existing blisters will . However, you can take a daily supplement by mouth each day (500mg-1000mg) to reduce the severity of your outbreaks. Our body doesn’t naturally produce lysine. It is typically found in many of the foods we eat, including: • Beef • Cheese • Turkey • Chicken • Pork • Eggs • Beans If you want to add an extra preventative barrier against cold sores, be sure to include these foods in your regular diet, and you can increase your daily intake of lysine naturally.
• Lemon Balm This is one of the most effective treatments for a cold sore when used in the early stages.
Certain studies have even found that . As a member of the mint family, lemon balm provides instant cooling relief to even the earliest signs of a cold sore, like tingling or itching.
It also has antiviral properties to fight against the herpes simplex virus. Finally, lemon balm contains a component called , which helps to control and kill bacteria. When cold sores split open, they can become susceptible to infection. Lemon balm helps to prevent this due to its antibacterial properties. Not only does it soothe the pain associated with the blister, but these virus-fighting properties can reduce the time it takes for the sore to heal.
• HERP-B-GONE Cream When it comes to over the counter treatments for fever blisters, it doesn’t get much more potent than HERP-B-GONE. As the name suggests, this topical lip balm contains ingredients that fight back against the herpes simplex virus.
Using all-natural ingredients like coconut oil and l-lysine, can reduce the symptoms of a cold sore, while speeding up the healing time. It is an FDA-approved cream that can be used every day until a cold sore has completely healed. If you start to use it regularly when you feel a blister coming on, it can drastically speed up the healing time. Additionally, it’s one of the first available products that can block the herpes virus and prevent more outbreaks.
• Tea Tree Oil Some of the contain tea tree oil as an active ingredient. However, to get the most potency from it, use tea tree oil in its most natural form. Tea tree oil is a natural antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal agent. It is used to treat multiple skin conditions.
It also contains anti-inflammatory properties. If you have experience with fever blisters, you know that that the inflamed redness and irritation that goes along with them can be the worst part. When you , it will help to provide instant relief. Plus, it’s easy to use with no negative side effects. Make sure you use a carrier oil, like olive oil, to apply it directly to your skin. Because it’s all-natural, you can use it as often as you’d like until the sore has completely healed up.
The sooner you use it at the first sign of symptoms, the better. It will help to weaken the virus right away. • Abreva Cream This is one of the most popular over-the-counter cold sore treatments on the market. While it can be used at any stage of a cold sore, it is recommended that you use it as soon as you feel a blister coming on.
It is an to reducing the healing time of blisters. Plus, it’s inexpensive and easy to find, making it one of the most practical solutions for this common problem. One of the main ingredients in Abreva, Docosanol, prevents a cold sore from getting worse and heals it at the earliest stage possible. When you feel the initial symptoms, or see the first sign of a cold sore, using can help to stop the symptoms almost immediately.
If you get cold sores frequently, having this medication on hand often can make life easier. • Antiviral Medications If you’re someone who frequently experiences cold sore flare-ups, you may want to talk to your doctor about prescription antiviral medications. In some cases, you can keep them on hand to use whenever you start to feel the initial symptoms of a cold sore. Some of the most popular include: • • • Penciclovir Because some prescription medications can cause negative side effects, they should be reserved for people who get cold sores often, not just once in awhile.
However, they are very potent, and when used correctly, they can help to stop a cold sore from getting worse. If you’re not keen on taking prescription medication regularly, try increasing your intake of natural supplements that contain multiple vitamins.
Often, cold sores can flare up due to a weakened immune system. Making sure you’re getting the right vitamins and minerals throughout your body can make it stronger when it comes to fighting back against HSV-1. Not only can that assist in shortening the healing time of a sore, but combined with other solutions on this list, it can reduce the frequency of outbreaks. Is it Possible to Prevent a Cold Sore? There is no way to prevent a cold sore flare up completely if you have the herpes simplex virus.
They are highly contagious. There are also many factors that can potentially cause an outbreak. However, you can take precautionary measures to reduce your risk of a severe outbreak. Use some of the following steps to protect yourself: • • with a medicated lip balm • , etc., with anyone who has a cold sore Again, cold sores are not 100% preventable, but there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of an outbreak.
Of course, we recommend that you use the to lessen the symptoms and heal faster.
Stages of a Cold Sore