Q. and A. with Dr. Kiskila- This Month’s Topic: Cold Sores
Question– Dr. Kiskila, what is a cold sore?
Answer– Cold sores are viral blisters that form on or near the lips or inside the mouth. They are typically painful, and are caused by the herpes virus. They are also called fever blisters.
Question– How do I get a cold sore?
Answer– Cold sores are viruses that are spread by close contact, kissing, sharing utensils, or drinks with others who have the virus. That’s why it’s called the kissing disease.
Question– What are the symptoms of a cold sore?
Answer– Cold sores are tiny blisters that typically start with a numbness or tingling sensation on the lip or mouth followed by a blister that becomes painful. The virus typically expresses itself when the immune system is down- you are sick or under a lot of stress. Also too much sun exposure can trigger cold sores.
Question– What are the treatments for cold sores?
Answer– Cold sore treatment is an antiviral medication, in a pill and topical cream. The sooner you start the medication the better it works.
Question– How do I prevent cold sores?
Answer– Your immune system can suppress the virus so supporting your immune system by staying healthy, eating right and getting proper rest, as well as avoiding stress (easier said than done), can help prevent cold sores from forming. Additionally, always use a sunscreen when outdoors.
Question– Do cold sores spread? Are they contagious?
Answer– Cold sores are contagious through close contact, so avoid sharing foods, drinks, utensils, straws, or kissing someone with the cold sore virus is the best way to prevent getting cold sores.The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.