do I need to remember about Cold Sores / Fever Blisters?
Cold sores are caused by
the herpes virus; usually Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1).
There is no cure for herpes. The cold sore virus is very
contagious during a lesion, but it can be present even if
a cold sore is not. People with cold sores need to guard
against unintentional transmission to others. This is best
done by avoiding kissing of others, washing your hands frequently,
and by making sure to avoid touching other parts of your
body after touching your cold sore. Another useful suggestion
is to treat your cold sore with a cold sore medication to
reduce the time that it is contagious.
There are treatments available
from your doctor or your dentist. You can also buy “over-the-counter”
(OTC) drugs to treat your cold sore. Rx treatments act to
interfere with viral reproduction and are only available
with a prescription. Some OTC drugs act as skin protectants.
Some have an anesthetic to reduce the pain.
A new type of cold sore
treatment has recently been introduced that capitalizes
on the microbicidal effects of its active ingredient (benzalkonium
chloride) to directly act on the cold sore virus. This treatment
is available as Viroxyn.
If you wonder what is best
for you, you should ask your doctor or dentist.