If you have been plagued by cold sores, you know how uncomfortable and embarrassing they can become when an outbreak occurs. Many people experience this condition from childhood and live through outbreaks in their teen and adult years. While common, cold sores are still a nuisance and most people would prefer to limit or halt their appearance. If you have persistent cold sores there are treatment options available and ways to reduce the spread of this virus.
What Are Cold Sores?
The rumors that cold sores are a form of herpes is correct. The herpes simplex virus that causes blisters and sores around the mouth comes in two forms, HSV-1 and HSV-2. Both cause the uncomfortable and embarrassing blisters around the mouth. HSV-1 is the common oral herpes virus, while HSV-3 is a genital form, but can spread to the mouth area. To stop the spread of either forms, any physical contact with other people should be limited during outbreaks; even touching the sores can transmit the virus to surfaces and skin.
There is no cure for HSV, but there are treatment options to help reduce the occurrence of outbreaks and minimize the length of outbreaks when they occur. For many, especially teens and young adults, cold sores can create a social stigma that can limit their personal interactions and even affect work and school performance. Finding treatment options can limit outbreaks of cold sores and not only stop the discomfort but improve the quality of life for those suffering from persistent cold sores.
If you or your child is suffering from ongoing HSV-1 or HSV-2 outbreaks, it is worth discussing the condition with a dermatologist. There are treatment options available that can help reduce the effects of this virus and improve the quality of life for those with repetitive cold sores.
Posted on behalf of:
Kayal Dermatology & Skin Cancer Specialists
141 Lacy Street, Suite 200
Marietta, GA 30060