Cold sores can be one of the most difficult and persistent skin problems to deal with, especially due to the randomness of outbreaks. These sometimes painful sores tend to develop near the lip or mouth, often in the form of blisters that eventually scab over.
Misconceptions about what causes cold sores (and how to treat them) can potentially hinder someone from obtaining the right treatment needed.
What Causes Cold Sores?
Cold sores (sometimes referred to as fever blisters) are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). More than half of Americans ages 14 to 49 carry this virus, which is highly contagious when cold sores are present.
The main issue with HSV is that it stays in the body permanently, even after the cold sores clear. Should the virus reactivate, you may end up getting cold sores again.
Although cold sores can appear at random after you’ve contracted HSV, the following can be a direct trigger:
- Illness, including a cold, fever, or flu
- Injury to the area where you have had cold sores in the past
- Dental work
- Cosmetic surgery or laser treatment
- Prolonged exposure to sunlight
- Certain foods
- Hormonal changes, such as getting your period
Cold Sore Treatments at Image Renu Dermatology
While the virus that causes cold sores cannot be eliminated, there are several options when it comes to their treatment and prevention. The team at Image Renu Dermatology has the experience and proficiency needed to properly diagnose and treat cold sores, regardless of age or skin type.
Our Dermatology Nurse Practitioners can evaluate your cold sores and initiate a treatment plan involving the products and medications that are ideal for your needs. This includes both healing current outbreaks and preventing future ones.