Cold sore on lips is a general infection associated with adults. That doesn’t mean, it is limited to above 18 years of age. As it is contagious, the cold sore is also seen with children.
In most cases, a cold sore is observed as red coloured small blisters in and around the lip area. Incidentally, some people (both children and adults) never experience any symptoms of cold sore with the first attack.
The primary infection doesn’t usually cause any symptom. However, it may lead to severe flu-like symptoms in people whose immune system is suppressed.
Causes for Cold Sore on Lips:
The prime reason for cold sore on lips is Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). In a majority of the cases (about 90%), HSV Type 1 is the culprit. On the other hand, HSV-2 is associated with Genital Herpes (remaining 10%).
The bad thing about this virus led infection is it being influenced by external factors otherwise known as triggers.
These include cold, fever, stress, cracked lips, skin injury around lips, exposure to sunlight, exposure to cold winds, hormonal changes, menstruation, pregnancy, weak immunity etc.
In some cases, the cause itself is not known even after thorough scientific studies. Whatever may be the cause, it is proved that cold sore gets transmitted in various ways including:
- Skin-to-skin contact
- Kissing and slow contact
- Sharing food, utensils, drinking straws, cups and glasses
- Sharing a toothbrush, lipstick, lipbalms, and razors
- Touching the infected area
- Engaging in oral sex
Ironically, this cold sore virus stays in the body even after infection. It might result in another cold sore outbreak whenever the virus becomes active. Therefore, you can get recurrent cold sore outbreaks at a later stage of life.
Prevention for Cold Sore on Lips:
Prevention is better than cure.
The same rule applies to the cold sore on lips. Currently, there is no vaccine for this Herpes Simplex Virus. Even if the scientists’ experimental results are promising, the vaccine would be helpful only for those who are not already infected with herpes simplex virus.
There is a good news that just by following some good personal hygiene habits, you will be able to control the transmission of cold sores.
- Cleanse your hands frequently.
- Do not share spoons and glasses.
- Do not share towels and hankies.
- Avoid kissing and oral sex.
- Avoid direct skin to skin contact.
- Replace the existing toothbrush with a new one to prevent recurrent cold sore on lips.
- Wash the items you use with boiling hot water to kill the virus.
- Avoid triggers such as applying sun screen lotion and lip balm while going out.
Treatment for Cold Sore on Lips:
On an average, cold sore on lips lasts for 6 to 8 days. There is no perfect treatment for cold sores. However, if you visit a health care provider, then he/she will prescribe antiviral medications such as Acyclovir, Famciclovir, Valacyclovir, Penciclovir, Abreva etc.
But none of the above-specified medication works effectively against Herpes simplex Virus. They just ease your pain and discomfort. Little is known about how the immune system interacts with inactive herpes simplex virus to design antiviral drugs.
On contrary, you can try alternative medicine for cold sore on lips to reduce the symptoms and frequency of cold sore recurrences. They are natural and you don’t need to go anywhere. Just procure them from your kitchen.
The popular cold sore home remedies include applying ice on the infected area, taking vitamin supplements, applying toothpaste, garlic oil, grapefruit seed extract, lemon balm etc will give you a permanent cure while defending the body against infections.
The detailed explanation could be read at Cold Sore Treatment ebook.