Cold sores, also called "fever blisters", are a common type of facial sore that appears in little bunches either on the lips or around the mouth. The medical term for a cold sore is "recurrent herpes labialis". Cold sores are caused by a flare up of the herpes simplex virus.
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Herpes (pronounced hur-peez) is one of the most common viral infections in the world. The initial symptoms of the herpes simplex infection include a tingling, burning or itching sensation. In a day or two, small, painful, fluid-filled red blisters appear on your lips. As soon as you feel the tingling sensation, begin using your preferred form of treatment.
The direct cause of the herpes simplex virus is uncertain, but in some cases a fever, an overexposure to sunlight, physical or emotional stress, hormonal changes or consumption of certain foods or drugs are thought to be the trigger.
Cold sores usually take at least a week to clear up naturally without any professional treatment. If you want to get rid of your cold sore as quickly as possible there are over-the-counter cold sore medications that can help speed up the healing process and calm any irritation. Regardless of your treatment method never pick at a cold sore. Broken cold sores will spread the virus to other parts of your body - such as your fingers and eyes. The virus can also be transferred from person to person through kissing or sharing an unwashed glass or cigarette. If you suffer from recurring cold sores, a healthy diet and adequate rest are always ideal to prevent flare ups.