Cold sores are reoccurring blisters on the skin, mouth or lips.
- They’re caused by the Herpes Simplex virus that’s spread by saliva or direct contact with the blister.
- Most people first encounter a cold sore in childhood or young adulthood.
- The virus then remains for life, lying dormant in the skin or nerves until it’s reactivated, causing blisters in the same area as the previous infection.
- Around 90% of adults have Herpes Simplex antibodies in their bloodstream.
Symptoms of Cold Sores
- Localised itching and tingling before the cold sore appears
- A collection of small blisters
- Pain, tenderness and a sensation of heat and burning can also occur
- Blisters burst and dry
- The blistered area develops a crust
- The crust dries up and falls off after about 10-21 days
How to manage Cold Sores
A Cold Sore is most infectious during the first few days of the blister forming. So avoiding physical contact with someone who has just discovered a Cold Sore is a good idea. As the virus can also be passed on through saliva, sharing food and drinks should also be avoided.
Cold sores may appear when our immune system is weak, we get a cold or an infection, or when we are under stress.
So good nutrition, plenty of rest and avoiding stressful situations can help keep cold sores from occurring.
Decreasing your intake of chocolate, peanuts and almonds (which are high in the amino acid Arginine) is recommended with a cold sore outbreak.