Cold sores are those painful, fluid-filled blisters that occur on and around the lips and mouth. Caused by the common, and contagious, herpes type I virus cold sores can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Not everyone infected with the herpes type I virus (about 2/3 of the population!) will develop cold sores, but those of us who do know how painful and unsightly they can be.

Though each outbreak forearm exercises of blisters will eventually clear on its own, as of now there is no cure for the underlying virus. Instead, it hides dormant in the nerve cells of the face, released by triggers like stress, sunburn, hormones or injury. Once the virus reemerges from those nerve cells it goes on to attack the skin of the lips. This is when most doubleroids people can feel the burning or tingling that preempts an outbreak.

Our outbreaks are essentially a casualty of the war that ensues between our body’s immune system and the virus. As the virus continues to attack, our bodies respond with the inflammation that causes the blister formation and pain. And that’s when applying Cortibalm can help!

Most treatments for cold sores attempt to block the virus and stop it from multiplying. Prescription-based anti-viral medications like Valtrex and Abrevia can shorten the duration and scope of an outbreak. But, in the same way, the virus can’t be cured, there is not yet a medication that is 100 percent effective in containing it. Some of the virus will still get through to the skin. That’s when we need to (and can!) address the symptoms of pain and inflammation.

At the first sign of a cold sore (that burning, tingling, and redness that preempts our blisters) call your dermatologist and talk about beginning a prescription anti-viral medication. And then try Cortibalm. The wax will hold the hydrocortisone to the skin allowing it to ease the pain of inflammation and shorten the blisters’ duration. Many of our patients tell us that it prevents blisters in the first place!

Dr. Viders

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