Cold Sores – What Are They & How To Treat Them?

While, at this point, the two very frequent types of herpes simplex virus (HSV) affect many people – herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), this virus still carries a sort of stigma with it. This is mostly due to a fact that it’s contagious and often related to sexual promiscuity, and there is no cure that works 100 percent of the time.

Generally speaking, both of them can cause cold sores, more common one being HSV-1, and cold sores are also known as herpetic lesions or fever blisters. They manifest as painful breakouts, mostly near the mouth area. This virus can easily be passed from one to another person through very small, tiny holes in the skin or on the inside of the mouth. Although HSV-1 can manifest anywhere on the body, it’s physical symptoms usually appear near the mouth, and in spite of that – it’s actually an infection of our nervous system. There are many different options to control it, from antiviral medication to ointments, but that is only but a band aid.

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Facts you should know about herpes simplex virus type 1

Just about everyone can be affected by this virus, and it’s said that almost 90% of people get at least one cold sore in their life. It’s very hard to avoid contamination, since a person can have an active infection and show no physical symptoms, and because of that this disease is so widely spread. Besides being spread with physical contact between people, it’s also very easy to catch it through sharing utensils, cosmetic products, such as facial cream or a lip balm, as well as shaving razors. And another thing is – the virus can manifest as late as even 20 days after you came in contact with it for the first time. That means that you can also be carrying and transferring this virus to people close to you, without even being aware of it.

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The trigger for the physical manifestation is usually connected to the immune system. When it’s weakened, cold sores can flare-up quite often. Only so many things affect the immune system in a negative way – such as stress in the first place, followed by an inadequate diet. As with any other virus, after the first time you get cold sores, your body will develop antibodies and you might never have them again, although chances are around 40% that you will. Some people even have them every few weeks, which presents a great discomfort, whether you are stigmatized for having them or because they can be quite painful. There is no certain way to predict when the virus is going to present itself, and the stressing about it usually makes things even worse.

Lesions can be quite uncomfortable for the ones affected, lasting approximately 5 to 10 days, although they can still be visible for a longer amount of time. It usually begins as itchy, irritated, red spot around the lips, and after a while that irritation becomes a blister, which may or may not rupture before creating an outer crust.

Canker sores and cold sores, are they the same?

A question asked quite frequently, and the answer is as simple as the question – no they are not.

As we already mentioned, cold sores are caused by a virus spreading through people, and the sores are external – which means everybody can see them.

Canker sores on the other hand are not contagious and they appear on the inside of our mouth, mostly on the soft tissue – such as cheeks or the roof of our mouth.

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This being said, there is no correlation between these two, besides the similarity in their names and the fact that they both tend to flare up when the immune system is weakened.

How to treat cold sores?

If you’ve ever had a problem with them, like a lot of us did, then you probably already have some non-prescription ointments in your bathroom, and you probably already know that they don’t really do much, besides controlling the symptoms. You apply them a few times a day, hoping for the best, although their moisture brings even more attention to the sore. There are some prescription drugs, like Valtrex for example, that do address the virus itself, but are not always effective.

However, there is a new option available, that can be done by dentists and dermatologists around the world, and that is a laser treatment. In case the cold sores already exist – the laser can prevent them from progressing further and they can cut down the healing time needed by a lot. They can also decrease the frequency of the cold sores, and since they are known to form on the same area again, some patients even reported that the treated area cleared permanently.

Laser treatment procedure

As with any other laser therapy, patients have to wear appropriate eye protection while the dentist operates a device set onto a certain wavelength. The laser then gets through the skin without the need for any kind of anesthesia and stimulates the healing process from the inside out. The entire process lasts no longer than half an hour, and the laser treatment itself lasts less than 5 minutes.

The treatment is completely painless, and the laser never physically touches the patients skin. You might be able to feel the heat, which is why sometimes professionals use cool air to increase your comfort.

The perfect time to schedule your laser treatment is as soon as you notice the first symptoms, either when you know you’ve been really stressed and you feel weak overall, or when you notice the physical symptoms of the virus, such as the blister itself. And the best thing that many people don’t know about is that this treatment is often covered by insurance!

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If you’re having cold sores related problems, be sure to check in with the dentist of your choice and see if they offer this laser treatment, as there is no downsides to trying it out, and the worst case scenario is actually you never having to fight the cold sore battle ever again!

–> ATTENTION: Anyone who has a fear of dentists…
Get Rid of Toothache, Cure Cavities Naturally And No More Dentist Visits Ever Again!
Click here to learn more! ->

Cold Sores - What Are They & How To Treat Them? 1