Are you sick and tired of…

  • Getting painful outbreaks?
  • A low quality of life? No joy, passion, energy?
  • Feeling like there’s no hope, no cure, and that you are condemned to live with Herpes for the rest of your life?
  • Hearing doctor after doctor tell you they haven’t got a clue as to what triggered the disease, or how to CURE it?

Herpes: Cold Sores

Cold sores are painful blisters that mainly affect the lips though the tongue and mouth could be affected. The first episode of cold sores (primary cold sores) is the most painful and can last for even a month. Subsequent episodes are calmer because the body already has antibodies against the HSV virus.

The Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) is responsible for various body infections that include genital herpes and cold sores. Herpes in women is caused by type 1 and type 2 HVS. The type-1 virus is also referred to as Herpes labialis and is generally responsible for infections above the waist, for example cold sores. The type- 2 virus is mostly responsible for genital herpes. However, the two viruses can infect any part of the body.

Herpes in Women: Transmission

Generally, cold sores are transmitted through close personal contacts that are sexual in natures.HSV is found in all body fluids of an infected person. Here are the more common ways in which cold sores are transmitted:

  • Kissing: saliva contains HSV in concentrations that can lead cold sores.
  • The fluid in the sore has the highest concentration of HSV and thus contact with the fluid from any part of the body can cause cold sores.
  • Though skin to skin contact is the most common way to spread cold sores, it can be transmitted when utensils such as spoons and cups are shared.
  • You can get cold sores by touching the blisters with any part of the body including hands.
  • Though rare, HSV can be transmitted through sharing personal items such as towels and wash clothes.

Cold Sore Recurrence

It has been observed that some people will get bouts of cold sore infection regularly even without obvious contact with an infected person. This event is called cold sore recurrence. After getting treated for the first time, the Herpes Simplex Virus the virus travels to the nerve ganglion where it hides.

This stage is referred as latent or dormant stage. Once in a while, the virus wakes up from the dormant stage and travels from the ganglion to the skin resulting in blisters and sores that are common in cold sores. Further treatment is needed to lower the number of viruses and put them back to dormancy.

What Triggers Cold Sore Recurrence?

  • Stress lowers the body’s immunity. In the dormant stage minus psychological stress, the body’s immunity is able to control recurrence.
  • Infection by other diseases such as colds and flu.
  • The UV light waves from the sun induce cold sores in some people.
  • Menstruation.

Studies have shown that cold sores are common in women of age 18- 30 than in men of any age. The reason given for this phenomenon is that women are more emotional and thus likely to share other people’s item such as lip gloss. Compared to men, women have a generally weaker immune system. The immune system of a woman is further compromised in menstruation and pregnancy.

 

Symptoms of Cold Sores

The main symptom of cold sores in women is a group of red blisters, sores or ulcers found on the lips. The red sores usually dry rapidly to leave a scab. Depending on how serious the infection is, cold sores cure in one to two weeks.

Primary Symptoms of Cold Sores

These are experienced by first-time cold sores patients. They include:

  • Painful sores on the lips.
  • Swollen glands that show that the body is fighting an active infection.
  • Dehydration since painful sores that prevent you from drinking and eating food.
  • High body temperature( fever)

There is a tendency for women to touch the red blister in an attempt to reduce pain. While massaging the sores may calm pain, other effects are not good. Firstly, touching the sores increases chances of scarring by interfering with healing.

In addition, your hand may have other germs such as bacteria. Infection by bacteria can only make the cold sore worse. By touching the blister, you may infect your friends with the condition. Autoinoculation is common in people who touch the sores. Autoinoculation mostly affects soft/sensitive parts of the body such as the eyes. If not treated in time, autoinoculation in the eyes can lead to blindness.

How to Prevent Cold Sores

Know your Trigger

In general, there is no treatment for viral disease. The drugs available are only meant to manage the condition. Therefore, once you are infected, the virus will be with you for a long time. You need to know your triggers so that you can manage the condition. Some of the triggers can be stress, fatigue, or overdoing exercises.

Keep warm

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In cold weather, body immunity is lowered and therefore keeping warm helps the body fight infections. This is true even when one is already infected.

Protect your lips

There are some lip glosses that are designed to prevent cold sores. Any kind of lips gloss, however, adds another layer of protection to the skin.

Protect yourself from UV rays

As pointed out earlier, some women get cold sores due to exposure to sunlight. A good sunscreen, hat or umbrella should provide enough protection.

Avoid kissing

You should avoid kissing a person who has the sores; you will most likely get infected. However, you should know that not all people with cold sores have blisters as one of the symptoms.

Personal hygiene

Avoid sharing personal items such as utensils, spoons and lip glosses. In case, you suspect that you have had contact with fluid from the blisters then you need to wash that part of the body with water. Brushing your teeth after kissing a suspect-HSV-carrier should help.

The virus can hardly live outside the body and needs a warm environment to replicate. Therefore, it is recommended that you cover the lip with ice as soon as you start feeling tingly.

The herpes simplex virus enjoys an acidic environment. Therefore, the episodes of recurrence can be avoided by not eating acidic food such as oranges and lemons. These foods should in fact be avoided until the cold sores have healed and the scab has formed.

 

Here are some other pages for your viewing pleasure:

Cold Sores on the Lips
Herpes in the Mouth Treatment
Home remedies for cold sores
How to get rid of cold sores fast

Here are some other resources you may find of value and interest:

Frequently Asked Questions About Genital Herpes
If your girlfriend has herpes and you kiss her can you get herpes?