Whether or not you’ve had actually had a cold sore, you know that can be unsightly and worse yet, painful. If you’re looking for the fact on cold sores, look no further. We’ll cover what we think is important so you can get back to feeling better. Topics covered include:
- What causes cold sores?
- Overall health and cold sores, what does it mean for you?
- How do you treat cold sores?
- Answers to commonly asked questions about cold sores!
What Causes Cold Sores?
Are you looking for excellent treatment to stop cold sores fast? Naturally, they can be annoying, inconvenient, and they tend to come at the worst times. Most people would do just about anything to prevent them. The number one way to stop cold sores is to know your triggers and to understand why cold sores happen. Learn why they appear, what causes them in the first place, and how to get rid of them. Here we’ll talk about all of these topics.
Why do some people get cold sores and not others?
Cold sores, also called “fever blisters,” can be triggered by fevers or colds. Most people develop cold sores from a depletion of vitamins such as Vitamin D and Vitamin C. They’re most common during the winter when people’s immune systems are compromised or overworked. Likewise, they’re common when sickness is traveling around. For instance, if everyone at work has had the same cold, cold sores may also be common.
Cold sores come from the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1). This is a virus that stays in a person’s body their entire lifetime. In short, many people have HSV-1, and others do not. As a result, those without it will never develop cold sores.
Overall Health and Cold Sores
While it’s easy to ask about the “cause of cold sores,” we have to speak about them differently. Simply put, cold sores are always caused by HSV-1. HSV-1 passively remains in the body but can be triggered by certain events or factors.
In other words, these triggers can result from numerous underlying conditions. Behind inflammation and overworked immune systems, some of those conditions are as follows:
Having a viral infection can trigger cold sores. The most common viral infections you’ll find are colds and influenza. In both cases, cold sores are common.
Vitamin D and Vitamin C are crucial pieces of a healthy immune system. When a person is deficient in either of these, cold sores are much more likely to form.
Fevers are a natural part of the body’s response to problems. These fever-causing problems can be a number of things. Infections, viruses, and inflammation are all examples of fever-causing issues. In any case, fevers can sometimes result in cold sore outbreaks.
Changes in a person’s hormone cycle can also bring about cold sores.
Extensive dental treatment can also lead to cold sores as it can create stress.
Learn how our Lincoln dentists can help you to relax and have a comfortable experience at our office. https://northstardentalne.com/dental-anxiety-tips/
Both physical and mental stress can manifest themselves in cold sores. Working too much without rest often results in cold sore breakouts.
Overexposure to Sunlight
Strangely enough, being exposed to sunlight can also trigger a cold sore breakout. The sun’s UV rays weaken the immunity of the skin. This weakening often allows cold sores to form.
There could also be an underlying immune system problem or immunosuppressant drugs. For example, patients going through extensive medical treatment may get cold sores more often. This is because it causes their immune system to be compromised.
Treating Cold Sores
- Ice: Apply ice directly to the cold sore to reduce swelling and discomfort. If you apply ice at the first sign of a cold sore, the sore may be smaller.
- Hydrogen Peroxide: Can disinfect, speed up the healing process, limits the spreading of the sore.
- Over-the-counter medication such as Abreva: More effective if used at the first sign of a cold sore coming on (tingling sensation). OTC medications work by shielding healthy cells from those infected by the virus.
- Aspirin: Use for relief of discomfort.
- Prevent Cracking: Keep cold sore lubricated to prevent cracking or bleeding. Use a cotton swab to apply to prevent the spreading of the virus.
- Stay away from foods rich in arginine, which is an essential amino acid that the herpes virus needs to thrive. Examples: chocolate, cold, beer, nuts, gelatin, whole-grain cereals.
- Use Zinc to boost the immune system. Also using Zinc Oxide Creams can reduce itching, blistering, and soreness. If applied within 24 hours of symptoms, it can shorten the length of the outbreak.
- Load up on Vitamin E and C. Vitamin. C boosts white blood cell counts, which helps with fighting infections. Vitamin E helps relieve the discomfort of cold sores and minimizes scarring.
- Use Lip Balm that contains SPF.
- Avoid touching your eyes when you have a cold sore to help prevent transmitting the virus.
Great ways to prevent cold sores?
- Keep your toothbrush in a dry spot a damp toothbrush in a moist bathroom is easier for viral breeding.
- Know your triggers for a cold sore and try avoiding them
- Replace your toothbrush after an outbreak
- Taking the herb Echinacea four times a day boosts immune system’s ability to fight off the virus.
- Take 1,000 mg of the immune-boosting flavonoid quercetin-speeds up the healing process.
- Maintain a well-balanced diet
- Eat a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, fish oil, and flaxseed.
- Avoid processed foods, foods high in simple sugars, energy drinks, and sodas.
- Take probiotics, Vitamin C, Vitamin D
- Exercise regularly, practice yoga, deep breathing, and massages all to help lessen stress.
- Get an adequate amount of sleep 7-8 hours each night
Frequently Asked Questions about Cold Sores
Can you get sick from a cold sore?
In most cases, after a person gets sick once from a cold sore, their body develops antibodies which prevent the sickness in future cold sore outbreaks.
How many people develop cold sores?
About 90% of people experience a cold sore at least once in their life. About 40% of people get cold sores chronically throughout their lives. This high number is due to the ease of spreading of HSV I. Because it spreads so quickly and easily, a high volume of people experience cold sores semi-regularly.
Can they be passed to others?
Yes, cold sores are contagious. Cold sores can be passed on by a kiss, shared utensils, or other close points of contact. Mainly, cold sores spread if lips come into contact with others. So even if your skin cells come into contact with those of others, a cold sore will likely spread.
Should you call the doctor for a cold sore?
If you have a cold sore, you may need antiviral prescription cream. Call the doctor if your sores last longer than two weeks, or if you get four or more cold sores a year.
How do you treat cold sores in children?
We treat cold sores the same way in children that we do with adults. One difference, however, is that you should avoid aspirin for any children under six. Aspirin can be extremely dangerous for small children. In the 1980s, doctors found a significant link between child aspirin intake and Reye Syndrome. Reye Syndrome is a deadly disease and can be potentially fatal.
Can babies get cold sores?
Yes, babies can get cold sores, and it can put them at high risk of getting sick. If an adult has a cold sore, they should never kiss a baby to avoid passing it on.
Why do people get mouth ulcers and sore tongues?
Those who have mouth ulcers and sore tongues may have a few things to blame. Incidentally, these can develop as a result of a compromised immune system, stress, or a severe deficiency of vitamins.
Should I have dental treatment while I have a cold sore?
If your cold sore is active (you just got it or are just noticing the first symptoms,), you should wait a few days before seeing a dentist.
Here at Northstar, we value overall wellness. We believe in the body as a whole system. That’s why our blog isn’t merely dedicated to oral health. Our goal is to help you be a better you!
The information on this page was written by Dr. Kimberly Polley.
This gentle Lincoln, NE dentists says: “I believe that everyone is entitled to a healthy life. I am happy to work with my patients’ concerns and help them overcome their fears. Consequently, once they overcome their fears, they can routinely receive the dental care that they need, resulting in a healthy, beautiful smile.”
You can schedule with this Lincoln, NE dentist, or her partners, online 24/7 at her North Lincoln Location of Nebraska Family Dentistry. This “dentist near me” serves the local communities close to Northstar Dental in Waverly, Davey, Raymond, Garland, Ceresco, Greenwood, and Malcom.
Looking for Dental Payment Plans
or Apply Online
(Click logo above to be directed to website)
Make easy, affordable payments for your procedure with the Dental Payment Plans we offer.
We have 7 Locations in Lincoln, NE!
- Lincoln Family Dentistry – Central Lincoln
- South Lincoln Family Dentistry – South Lincoln
- Northeast Lincoln Family Dentistry – Northeast Lincoln
- Preserve Family Dentistry – East Lincoln
- Coddington Dental – West Lincoln
- NorthStar Dental – North Lincoln
- SouthPointe Dental – Southwest Lincoln
- Emergency Dentist NE – Emergency Dental Care
Nebraska Family Dentistry has multiple Lincoln Dental Clinics!
Choose a “dentist near me” location that is convenient for you.