Long term cold sore sufferers know everything there is to know about the embarrassment, discomfort and frustration of dealing with an outbreak. That does not mean that they actually know everything about the virus, what it is capable of and its lengthy history. It is not necessary to know all of these things to manage chronic cold sores, but it never hurts to have all the facts.
#1. It is an ancient problem.
The Greek physician Hippocrates passed away nearly 2,400 years ago. He was the first person known to document the misery of cold sores. Little was understood about the lesions at that time. Herpes is a Greek word meaning “to creep or crawl” and it was chosen by Greek scholars to describe the contagious sores.
#2. Cold sores can spread to any part of the body.
Anyone with an active cold sore should be aware that they can cause their partners to develop a lesion on any spot of skin they allow to come in contact with the sore.
#3. Cosmetic procedures may lead to massive outbreaks.
Many people have heard the warning about cold sores and chemical peels. They may not realize that this warning should also include cosmetic injections, microdermabrasion and laser resurfacing. Any treatment that disturbs the skin could lead to an outbreak. This is why cold sore sufferers should always use a plastic surgeon or dermatologist for cosmetic treatments and should discuss their previous outbreaks with their doctor prior to any procedure.
#4. Flu-like symptoms often accompany a pending outbreak.
The familiar tingling pain on the lip that cold sore sufferers recognize as a sore developing is not the only potential warning signal. Flu-like symptoms like a sore throat, swollen glands or fever may also be present. These symptoms will often disappear after the sore develops.
#5. An emergency doctor visit may be necessary.
Resolving most outbreaks may require nothing more than the use of “The Inhibitor” or an anesthetic cream. Unfortunately, some lesions become infected and require an antibiotic to treat. The fluid in cold sores is normally thin and watery. If it thickens it means bacteria is present. A fever with pain or redness in the eye during an outbreak should also be taken seriously.
#6. There are pregnancy risks.
Cold sores often appear more frequently in women suffering from hormonal fluctuations. This is why women that occasionally suffer a cold sore may suddenly see them consistently popping up during their pregnancy. This is not an issue to ignore. HSV-1 has been identified as a cause of an increased risk of premature labor and miscarriages and may affect prenatal growth. The risk is small but worrisome enough that it must be discussed with an obstetrician.
#7. They go by many names.
Cold sores are frequently referred to as fever blisters. They are known to doctors as Herpes Labialis, Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 or the abbreviated version, HSV-1. Many sufferers also have a few profane names of their own that they use for the annoying blemishes. One name that is not used, or should not be, is canker sore. Many people mistakenly confuse canker sores and cold sores. These two lesions are entirely different with unique causes and treatments.
If you get cold sore outbreaks consider getting The Inhibitor, an effective device that helps prevent cold sores from breaking out.