The fever blister on and / or around the lips is the hallmark of cold sores, a highly contagious, painful and embarrassing viral infection. About 1 in 3 people have had at least one cold sore in their life. Causes, Symptoms and Treatments
Characteristic vesicles may appear in other areas of the face such as the cheeks, forehead and chin, but also on other parts of the body such as the trunk, limbs and even the fingers and toes.
The cold sore has the appearance of a red spot with blisters, not only on the lips and around the mouth, but also sometimes on the gums, the tongue and the lining of the cheek. These bulbs are filled with liquid. The area may itch, tingle, burn or hurt. Sometimes, people first experience a tingling or burning sensation, then the blisters develop. After one or two days, the blisters dry out and form crusts. The cold sore disappears on its own, usually within 10 days, without a trace.
How to develop a cold sore?
The cold sore is caused by the herpes virus. Most people catch this virus during early childhood. Once contracted, the virus stays in the body throughout life. It sleeps in the nerve cells of the skin, until it is reactivated.
• under the action of sunlight or a solar bench
• cold or inflammation of the throat
• taking medication that weakens the immune system (chemotherapy …)
• stress or fatigue
• during menstruation
• stroke or wound on the lips
A cold sore is it dangerous?
A cold sore is annoying and painful, but it rarely lends itself to consequence. A herpes infection may be serious in newborns, patients with weakened immune systems and people with extensive eczema.
Herpes virus may enter eyes (via the hands) and causes an eye infection. The eye becomes red and painful. This inflammation can be dangerous. It is imperative to avoid touching a cold sore, let alone your eyes, afterwards.
What to do?
A cold sore disappears himself. The use of cold or hot compresses can relieve pain.
There are many products against cold sores, but the effect of these medications is often limited. The herpes virus that causes the cold sore can not (yet) be eliminated. There is also no vaccine against this virus.
• You have the impression that you are going to have a cold sore? Do you feel a burning sensation in your lip? You can use an antiviral cream (penciclovir, aciclovir) on sale in pharmacy. Apply it on your lip 5 times a day to make your pimple disappear a little faster (about a day).
• You already have blisters or scabs? No need to use antiviral creams. You can use a neutral cream instead.
• You have blisters but no scabs?
? A fat cream with zinc oxide or zinc sulphate. It makes the vesicles dry a little faster. Zinc oxide is white, zinc sulfate is colorless. You can apply them as often as you like.
? Lidocaine / zinc oxide. This can relieve pain, and vesicles can dry a little faster.
• Do you have dried crusts? You can use a neutral cream to soften crusts. Apply it as often as you wish.
• Do you suffer from recurrent or severe cold sores (severe pain, many blisters …)? Your doctor may treat you with antiviral tablets: valaciclovir or aciclovir. You will receive a short treatment. It is best to start at the first symptoms.
When to See a Doctor?
Contact your doctor in the following situations.
• The blisters did not disappear after two weeks
• The cold sore looks different or worse than usual
• Blisters on or around an eyelid.
• Red eye painful and sensitive to light
• Blisters on the genitals
• Eczema and blisters that spread to the rest of the skin.
• Impaired immune system, for example due to serious illness or chemotherapy.
• Pregnancy with blisters on the lips or vagina during the last weeks before delivery
• Your newborn baby has blisters.
• Your baby gets sick a few days or weeks after being in contact with a person with a cold sore