You must have seen them around, quite common, red blisters that form near the mouth or on other areas on the face.
Many people will claim it is malaria or typhoid because that is when they see those blisters pop up and they go when the illness reduces, but what could they be?
They are called cold sores, caused by a virus known as herpes simplex, this is spread from person to person by close contact, such as kissing and sharing cosmetics, and worse, they can be spread even when the sores are not showing
Also, it will be important to note that they have no cure, but they can be managed and treated
There are two types of the herpes simplex virus. Type 1 and 2
Type 1 causes: sores in the mouth, the cold sores, while type 2 causes sores on the genitals
However, it is possible for type 1 to cause sores on the genitals and type 2 to cause sores on the mouth.
The virus remains dormant in your body, so during periods of stress and illnesses the blisters tend to show up again, hence the reason many people think they are symptoms of diseases
How does one get them?
- Sharing utensils with someone who has them
- Sharing make up items
- Close contact
- Performing oral sex on someone who has them
What are the symptoms?
- The corner of your lips may start to tingle or burn. There is no blister yet and this is the best time to start treating
- Fever, in many cases
- Joint aches
- Muscle aches
- Malaise (a feeling that you are sick)
Then the blister shows up, filled with fluid that may last for a couple of days even up to 2 weeks, these blisters may burst and form scabs, then they heal, most of the time, they do not cause any serious illnesses, but if not treated properly, they can cause infections even of the nervous system.
What makes them show up?
The common things that may reactivate your cold sores include,
- An infection, fever, even the common cold
- A weak immune system: for example, HIV/AIDS
- During menstruation
How can I treat them?
Ointments and creams
Antiviral creams can help a great deal in the healing of these blisters, meet your doctor to prescribe one for you
Your doctor will also prescribe antiviral medications, these are best taken immediately the sores show up, and will reduce the time the sores spend on your skin,
You can also try using aloe vera gel, applying them three times a day to the blister can help them heal faster
How do I prevent them?
- Avoid kissing anyone who has a cold sore, and do not perform oral sex on anyone who has active genital herpes.
- Don’t share toothbrushes and makeup items
- Don’t kiss babies, babies have poor immune systems and infecting a baby with this virus can be fatal