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What Are Cold Sores - Cold Sore Facts

Cold sores, and the herpes simplex virus that causes them, affect nearly 89% of the earth population. In fact, this was an epidemic during the time of Jesus, 2000 years ago. A Roman ruler, Titus, banished ceremonial kissing because of an huge epidemic of cold sores at the time.

Cold sores, often called fever blisters, are both the same unsightly and painful herpes outbreak that normally occurs on the lips or nostrils.

Cold sores and canker sores are often thought of as the same. Canker sores only occur inside the mouth and are caused by a bacterial infection. Cold sores occur on the outside, on the skin surface, and are caused by a virus.  On rare occasion cold sores may occur in the mouth on the roof or gums - thus the confusion between the two.

The herpes simplex virus type 1 or type 2 is the root cause of all cold sores. 

The cold sore virus lives for life in your nerve fibers. This herpes virus will "claim" a nerve nearest the point of original entry into the body.

Normally your immune system will keep the virus asleep.  About 42% of those infected with the herpes simplex virus will never suffer a cold sore outbreak in their life.  For the rest of us, cold sores are a constant irritation.

Mental or physical stress can cause the cold sores virus to activate and create another outbreak. What is considered the "cold and flu" season is also the cold sore season. Most outbreaks occur during this time - as you are getting over a cold or flu event.

Cold sores are very painful.   The herpes virus creates the sore on the end of a nerve. The herpes virus senses a weakness in your defenses, traveling to the surface along the nerve fibers. At the surface, the virus enters individual nerve cells and makes them create clones. Then it explodes the cell to release the fresh viruses.

The result is a large, weeping open sore - unsightly and painful to touch.

Cold sores are very contagious. Touching cold sores, or kissing, can cause a new site for cold sores on yourself - or someone else. The virus can live on faucets, telephones, and towels for days under the right conditions.  Be very careful, especially during the weeping and crusting stages.

Without any help, the body can heal your cold sores completely in about three to four weeks. This depends on your current health, of course. There are several home remedies that will shorten this healing time by 50% or more.  

The most commonly used cold sore treatment, is application of ice.  This cold sore remedy is always available anywhere and it is free. If you feel the beginning of another cold sore, the ice can sometimes stop the herpes virus before it goes any further. It also deadens the nerve and provides relief from the pain, at any stage.

Some of the over-the-counter treatments will help deaden the pain and prevent secondary bacterial infection. Also, some of these cold sore remedies contain an oil that will keep the scab soft and help prevent painful cracking.  They will not heal your sore any faster but are great for comfort.

There is no way to banish the herpes virus from your body.  The key to being cold sore fee for life is to keep your defenses up and the cold sore virus asleep.
 

God Bless
Denny Bodoh

 

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Disclaimer : The text presented on these pages is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified health care provider. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions or concerns.
2007 drbodoh.com