Cold sores are blisters around the nose and mouth caused by the herpes simplex virus. They are highly contagious and the virus can be easily transmitted to others. People often find they have triggers that produce the onset of a cold sore.
- Fevers and illness
- Sun exposure
- Hormonal changes
Symptoms usually start with a tingling sensation and develop into a collection of small blisters which then form into a hard scab.
Prevention and treatment depends on the triggers that cause cold sores. There are medications available that can be applied to reduce the duration and impede the ability of the herpes simplex virus to replicate.
- Wear sunscreen on your face and lips
- Pay attention to your general health
- Keep stress levels low
- Avoid getting ‘run down’.
If you have a cold sore it is advised that you do not visit the dentist until it has resolved. Having to open your mouth wide can be very uncomfortable with a cold sore, and due to the infectious nature of the virus, it is best to defer dental treatment until you have recovered.