Home > Common Ailments > C > COLD SORES


What they are: Cold sores are small, blistering sores that appear on the face, around the lips and nose.
Symptoms: An itching and burning feeling before the sore appears. Painful red blisters. Within a few days of their appearance the blisters burst, weep and dry out. The wet blisters are very infectious. In children a crop of blisters may appear inside the mouth and around the gums. The child may be feverish and generally unwell.
Causes: The Herpes simplex virus. Outbreak of blisters may be caused by being run down-Stress and other illnesses-Cold, heat or wind.
Treatment in the home: Avoid touching or scratching the blisters. Pressing ice onto the ulcers often brings relief. To avoid spreading the infection, do not share towels and face cloths. Wash your hands frequently and don’t touch your eyes.
Possible complications: Touching the ulcers and then your eye, can cause conjunctivitis or inflammation of the cornea.
When to consult a doctor: As soon as the sores appear. Early treatment reduces the severity of the infection
What the doctor may do: Prescribe an antiviral drug. Prescribe an antibiotic cream if there is a secondary infection.