Cold Sores and Treatment

Cold Sore Treatments

You can feel the symptoms of a cold sore outbreak often times before the sores themselves. Stop the virus in its tracks at this early stage with a range of treatments. Tingling, burning, redness or swelling around your lips means its time to ask your physician or dentist about antiviral drugs. Drugs like famciclovir, acyclovir and valacyclovir, may prevent cold sores from appearing.

You can treat cold sores with over-the-counter ointments to help the sore heal more quickly. And to soothe cold sore irritation, apply a maximum-strength oral pain reliever for canker and mouth sores. Remember to wash your hands with soap and hot water before and after touching a cold sore to help prevent secondary infections and reduce the spread of the virus.

When Is a Cold Sore Serious?

A cold sore should disappear within 10 to 14 days without any treatments. The University of Maryland Medical Center¬†advises that if your immune system is weak, you should contact your physician if you develop a cold sore. Additionally, talk to your family doctor if you’ve had a cold sore for longer than two weeks and have symptoms like a fever, rash, drooling, difficulty swallowing, or white patches on your tongue and roof of your mouth.

Are cold sores bad for you? A simple sore isn’t a problem by itself, but if the virus that caused it shows up elsewhere in your body, you could become seriously ill. If you think you have a weakened immune system and you feel that familiar tingling that signals a cold sore’s appearance, heed the advice of your doctor on the best course of action.

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