Whether they are called fever blisters or cold sores anyone that has ever experienced one understands the discomfort and embarrassment that goes hand-in-hand with these unpleasant blemishes. The misery of them is easy to understand, but managing them is a little more difficult. Take this short quiz to see if you are ready to control your next potential outbreak.
True or False
- Fever blisters are not a concern if you avoid catching the flu or a cold.
- Kissing someone with a fever blister is the only way to catch one.
- Fever blisters can spread to any part of the body.
- Prescription medications cure cold sores.
- There are ways to prevent an outbreak.
Despite being referred to as “fever blisters”, it is not necessary to have a fever or be ill to have an outbreak occur. The blemishes do appear more frequently when people are sick due to their weakened immune system, but avoiding illness will not guarantee a lesion-free face.
Direct, skin-on-skin contact is the easiest transmission method, but not the only one. HSV-1 is a very contagious virus and it is passed through hand shaking, sharing drinking glasses and many other methods of indirect contact.
It is very important to not touch a fever blister and to be certain to wash your hands thoroughly if you do. The fluid in the blisters contains the virus and if it is spread to other parts of the skin it is possible for another sore to develop at that location.
Prescription medications help to relieve the discomfort of a cold sore and reduce the length of the outbreak by a few days. There is no cure for the virus and no way to become immune to future outbreaks.
Preventing an outbreak is possible, but not guaranteed. Some individuals are able to control outbreaks by adding more milk to their diet because the l-lysine reduces the risk. Applying ice to the skin when the first tingle is felt may also prevent the sore from appearing. The Cold Sore Inhibitor, a device that uses a low voltage zap of electricity, has helped many to avoid outbreaks.
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