DR. AKINTUNDE IS THE HEAD HERBAL DOCTOR OF THIS HERBAL HOME CARE.
NATURAL ROOTS AND HERBS
Cold sores are tiny blisters that develop on the lips or around the mouth. The herpes simplex virus strain HSV-1 normally causes them. The virus is highly contagious and can be passed on through close direct contact. After someone has contracted the "cold sore virus", it remains.
Causes of cold sores
Cold sores are usually caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1).
In most cases the virus is passed on in early childhood – for example, when a child is kissed by a family member or friend with a cold sore.
The virus passes through the skin and travels up the nerves, where it lies inactive (dormant) until it's triggered at a later date.
How Cold Sores Spreads
- By saliva (kissing or shared drinks).
- By having unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
- By skin-to-skin contact (handshakes or hugs).
Symptoms of cold sores
You won't usually have any symptoms when you first become infected with the herpes simplex virus (the primary infection).
An outbreak of cold sores may occur some time later and keep coming back (recurrent infection).
However, if the primary infection does cause symptoms, they can be quite severe.
Herpes simplex virus primary infection In children
Symptoms of the primary infection are most likely to develop in children younger than five years old. Symptoms include:
swollen and irritated gums with small, painful sores in and around the mouth – this is known as herpes simplex gingivostomatitissore throat and swollen glandsproducing more saliva than normalhigh temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or abovedehydrationfeeling sick (nausea)headaches
Herpes simplex gingivostomatitis usually affects young children, but adults can also develop it. It can last 7 to 14 days, with the sores taking up to three weeks to heal. However, gingivostomatitis doesn't usually recur after the primary infection.
Herpes simplex virus primary infection In Adults
herpes simplex viruses are rare in adults, but the symptoms are similar to those experienced by children.
You'll usually have a sore throat with or without swollen glands. You may also have bad breath (halitosis) and painful sores in and around your mouth. These can develop into ulcers with grey or yellow centres. If you develop the herpes simplex virus at an early age, it may be triggered periodically in later life and can cause recurring bouts of cold sores. After the primary infection, the symptoms are usually reduced to just the cold sores themselves.
Recurrent Infections (cold sores)
Recurrent infections usually last for less time and are less severe than the primary infection. The only symptom is an outbreak of cold sores, although you may also have swollen glands.
An outbreak of cold sores usually starts with a tingling, itching or burning sensation around your mouth. Small fluid-filled sores then develop, usually on the edges of your lower lip.
If you have frequent recurrent infections, you may develop cold sores in the same place every time. They may grow in size and cause irritation and pain. Initially, they may ooze before crusting or scabbing over within 48 hours of the initial tingling sensation.
If the cold sores are very troublesome, it's possible to suppress them by taking an antiviral tablet called acyclovir regularly, every day for a few months. This is usually only recommended if cold sores are causing a lot of problems, and they may come back when treatment is stopped.
Most cold sores disappear within 7 to 10 days without treatment and usually heal without scarring.
Approximately 50 percent of the adult population in the United States has oral herpes, typically caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). Most people contract oral herpes when they are children by receiving a kiss from a friend or relative.Oral herpes is commonly referred to as “cold sores” and “fever blisters.” While symptoms of oral herpes most commonly appear on or around the lips, oral herpes is not always limited to this area. For some, symptoms may appear between the upper lip, on or inside the nose, or on the chin or cheek. In these instances, herpes is referred to as oral-facial herpes. You have most likely seen someone experiencing an oral herpes outbreak before.Oral herpes is transmitted through direct contact between the contagious area and broken skin (a cut or break) and mucous membrane tissue (such as the mouth or genitals). Herpes can also be transmitted when there are no symptoms present. There are several days throughout the year when the virus reactivates yet causes no symptoms (called asymptomatic shedding, viral shedding, or asymptomatic reactivation).If a person is experiencing symptoms orally, we recommend abstaining from performing oral sex and kissing others directly on the mouth until signs have healed and the skin looks normal again. Because most adults have oral herpes, we do not advise that a person stop giving or receiving affection altogether between outbreaks (when there are no signs or symptoms) simply because they have oral herpes. However, using a barrier (such as a dental dam) or condom when performing oral sex (even though there are no symptoms present around the mouth) can reduce the risk of contracting genital herpes.By performing oral sex on someone who has genital herpes, it would be possible to contract oral herpes – but this is rare. Most cases of genital herpes are caused by HSV-2, which rarely affects the mouth or face. Also, and even more importantly, most adults already have oral HSV-1, contracted as a child through kissing relatives or friends.First episodeA primary infection with oral herpes can be similar to a first episode of genital herpes in that pronounced symptoms occur. During the first episode, classic lesions tend to form as small fluid-filled blisters that can appear as a single blister or in a cluster. Sores may also appear inside the mouth or on the back of the throat, and the lymph nodes in the neck may swell.Much like genital herpes, however, symptoms of oral herpes can be very mild and go unnoticed. Subtle symptoms can be easily mistaken for another infection or condition such as a small crack or cut in the skin, chapped lips, bug bite, or a pimple, to name a few examples.RecurrencesAt least a quarter of people with oral herpes experience recurrences. Again, as with the first episode, symptoms vary from person to person. Lesions may appear as either a blister or a cluster of blisters or sores. It is possible that a recurrence will involve only the subtle symptoms described above.Signs and symptoms of a recurrent episode (when they occur) tend to last about 8 – 10 days on average. Blister- or sore-like lesions will usually crust over during the healing phase. If the first episode produced fairly mild symptoms, then subsequent recurrences also tend to be mild. The frequency of recurrences varies from person to person and tends to decrease over time. Exposure to sunlight’s ultraviolet rays may trigger a recurrence.Prodrome: Many people will experience a “prodrome” or warning symptom prior to developing an outbreak. As you may recall from the section on genital herpes, a “prodrome” is an itching, tingling, or painful sensation in the area where their recurrent lesions will develop. The prodrome often precedes lesions by a day or two. During this time, it is best to assume virus is active (and, therefore, can be spread through close contact).