What Causes Cold Sores?
Submitted by: Dr. Scott Reader, DMD, PA, Your Hometown Dentist, One Senior Place Resident Business
Those tingling little sores that pop up when we least expect them to are caused by herpes simplex virus. Triggers such as stress, diet, a cold, weakened immune system, fatigue, trauma, and change in diet or hormones are some of the main culprits which may cause an outbreak of cold sores. They are usually contracted by direct exposure to someone having an outbreak. HSV is a very contagious virus that is usually spread through kissing, sharing utensils or direct hand to mouth contact. The virus usually enters the body through a break in the skin near or inside the mouth. It travels to the facial nerves and will remain dormant until an outbreak occurs. When the virus becomes active, it travels to the skin or inside of the mouth and forms a cold sore.
These sores can be painful at times and may last anywhere from 4 to 12 days. Over 80 percent of the population has the herpes simple virus. There is no cure for the virus, but by using herbs and minerals outbreaks can be reduced. Avoid intimate contact with people while experiencing an outbreak. Practice good oral hygiene and avoid direct contact with people while they are having an active outbreak. Don’t share eating utensils, lip balm or anything that comes into direct contact while someone is having an outbreak. If a person suffers from fever blisters, their chance of getting HSV is higher. Avoiding stress, placing sunscreen on the lips and reducing chances of colds will help minimize outbreaks.
There is no cure for cold sores or HSV, however anti-viral drugs can reduce the intensity and frequency of an outbreak. Topical ointments can also help heal the skin when there is an outbreak.
Dr. Scott Reader is a family and cosmetic dentist, specializing in Lumineers and the revolutionary Snap-On Smile. His office is located at 7185 Murrell Road in Viera. All seniors may schedule for a complimentary consultation by calling the office at 321-253-9588 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Reader.