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6 things to know about cold sore

26 October 2022

Do you feel an itch or tingling near your lips? Yes, here it is again!  When a cold sore develops, it quickly becomes annoying and embarrassing for most of us.

The cold sore in more medical terms, is called cold or oral herpes.  It is so common that it was even popularized in a song called “kissing disease” especially in Quebec by the Rock et Belles Oreilles group in the 80s.

Even if you want to make this unsightly lesion happen as quickly as possible, there is no need to make a drama out of it!   According to the World Health Organization, more than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50, or 67% of the population, are infected with the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) 1 which causes cold sores.

There are a few tricks to relieve and treat this nasty intruder.  But first, it is still necessary to understand what cold sore is, its origin, its symptoms and its causes.

What exactly is a cold sore?

Inconvenient, annoying but benign, oral herpes caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or type 2 (HSV-2) is present in the body after a first infection sometimes goes unnoticed. HSV-1 causes reactions at the oral level and HSV-2 at the genital level, but forms of cross-infection are common. 2

Contagious, it manifests itself as small lesions, often “clusters” of vesicles filled with a transparent liquid. These lesions are frequently found on the mouth, but more rarely, they are found on the chin, cheeks or even inside the nose. 3

What triggers a cold sore?  4

Certain factors can promote the appearance of cold sores. Inter alia:

  • UVB rays (solar and artificial), especially after prolonged exposure.
  • Stress and fatigue or emotional overload.
  • A weak immune system as well as minor illnesses such as colds and flu.
  • Mouth wounds such as cuts, cracks, burns.
  • Poor dental hygiene.
  • In women: hormonal changes, especially during menstrual cycles or pregnancy.
  • An outbreak of fever.
  • Being in contact with the lesions or saliva of an infected person, their own lesions or an object freshly contaminated by an infected person.

How can it be recognized?  5

The very first symptom is a tingling and burning sensation in one place. Then the cold sore develops. Here are some signs to better recognize it:

  • Small fluid-filled vesicles appear.
  • The skin around the lesions is red and painful.
  • The vesicles become opaque and the fluid inside turns yellow.
  • They burst and form a yellowish crust which subsequently dries and falls off.
  • Herpes is sometimes accompanied by itching and tingling, widespread pain, headache, mild fever.

How long does a cold sore last?  6

The virus is dormant in the body so it can wake up occasionally, but in the case of a first infection, the virus will be present on the first day and usually disappears after 5 to 14 days.

Can we prevent cold sores?  7

Because the virus is dormant in the body, it is almost impossible to prevent the next infection. However, to avoid recurrence, it is recommended to strengthen your immune system with good life problems, promoting sufficient sleep and  adopting a healthy diet and regular physical activity.

How to treat or relieve a cold sore?  8

Here are some tips that may be helpful:

  • Painkiller medications may be used as needed to reduce fever and pain.
  • From the first tingling, applying ice will reduce the temperature and relieve the pain
  • Think cream: a treatment prescribed by a health professional in cream can be of great help. Vaseline can also be applied to prevent cracking and bleeding.
  • Discover the benefits of essential oils, such as lemon balm which contains substances that inhibit the virus, as well as myrrh which directly attacks the virus. You can also mix tea tree which is a natural antiseptic and olive oil in equal quantities.

Discover Mezereum composé* to relieve cold sores

Mezereum composé, a brand-new homeopathic medicine from Boiron, provides relief from the pain and symptoms caused by cold sores: burning, itching, blisters and raw ulcers. It comes in the form of multidoses tube of pellets and is offered to adults and children from one year old. Practical and without drowsiness, you must take 5 pellets, 3 times a day letting them melt under the tongue or follow the indications of your health practitioner. For children under 2 years of age, the pellets should be dissolved in a little water before administration.

One last tip: always have Mezereum composé in your medicine kit to react at the very beginning of the next resurgence.

With a little patience and proper treatment, the cold sore will quickly become just a bad memory.

*This homeopathic medicine may not be suitable for everyone. Always read the label and follow the directions for use.

 

References:

1 – World Health Organication – Herpes virus – March 10, 2022

Herpes simplex virus (who.int)

Globally, an estimated two-thirds of the population under 50 are infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 (who.int)

2 – Internal article on oral herpes – Boiron – 2022

3-4-5 Herpès buccal (feu sauvage) : symptômes, traitements, prévention (noovomoi.ca)

6 – Gouvernement du Québec – ministère de la Famille – Bye Bye les microbes – L’herpès labial ou « feu sauvage  Article 2 (gouv.qc.ca)byebye-vol21no4.PDF (gouv.qc.ca)

7-8 – 9 trucs pour faire disparaître votre feu sauvage (selection.ca)

 

 

 

 

Sara Benaceur