Cold Sores: Why and when to treat them
It is estimated to affect 1 in 5 Canadians annually and is associated with a negative stigma that can lead to depression, fear of rejection, and isolation for infected individuals during an outbreak.
Why should cold sores be treated?
There are several reasons to treat cold sores including:
- To help stop the virus from multiplying to reduce lesions and speed healing
- To treat recurrences
Cold sores can be uncomfortable, unsightly and embarrassing for sufferers and they also carry the risk of spreading the herpes virus to other parts of the body or to other people. The virus can be spread by the fingers or items such as cutlery, glasses/cups, water bottles, towels, lipstick, or razors.
When should cold sores be treated?
There are a number of things to consider in the treatment of cold sores. The most important thing is to treat the cold sore at the very first sign or symptom (tingle, itching, redness, small blister) of a cold sore. It is not too late to treat them after the blisters have formed
, but the treatment may not be as effective.
Treatment should include some practical steps as well as medication (either non-prescription or prescription).
people identified that they have a negative self-image from having cold sores.*
What Dermatologists Say:
Unfortunately, lack of education leads to social stigma of infectious diseases like cold sores.
Why are cold sores a big deal?
For many people they aren’t anything but a minor nuisance. Even for people who have more severe outbreaks, typically, they resolve without any read more..
What's the role of the immune system?
The healthy immune system typically controls the herpes virus within a week or two during an outbreak when the virus becomes active and proliferates.. read more..
What should I do if my child gets cold sores?
The most likely source of infection is through you, the parents, via sharing utensils or towels, or a kiss. Do your best to avoid these forms of contact if you have visible symptoms of a cold sore. Unfortunately... read more..