Cold Sores (Treatment for Herpes Simplex) – Dallas, TX

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about Cold Sores

A cold sore is a blister or group of blisters that appears most commonly on the lips or near the mouth, but can occur on other sites of the face and body as well. Cold sores can be incredibly painful and may be swollen, red, and inflamed. Cold sores can go by several other names, such as oral herpes, mouth herpes, herpes simplex labialis, or a fever blister. When cold sores break (or burst), a clear fluid leaks out, and the blister will scab over. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus, also known as HSV. In the United States, more than 50% of women and men have oral herpes, which is typically due to herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). A closely related herpes simplex virus, HSV-2, is the cause for most cases of genital herpes. However, both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can cause a cold sore on the face or genital region. Unfortunately, this condition is highly contagious and can be transmitted very easily if someone else comes in contact with the infected area. Cold sores can be easily diagnosed and treated by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Adean Kingston at her practice in Dallas, Texas. Contact our office, Adean Kingston, M.D., PLLC where we will make sure that your cold sores are cleared up quickly and effectively and make recommendations to reduce future outbreaks.

Causes

Some individuals who have the herpes simplex virus may never get a cold sore. However, the virus that causes cold sores cannot be cured. This means that once you are infected with the virus, it stays in your body for the rest of your life. Some causes of cold sore outbreaks are:

  • Sunlight and heat
  • Fatigue and stress
  • Sharing lipsticks, straws, toothbrushes, razors, etc.
  • Undergoing a laser, chemical peel or dermal filler procedure

Patients who are diagnosed with HSV-1 or HSV-2 should communicate to their partners that they carry this virus. This way, those close to them can be aware of the potential for herpes transmission. Kissing and saliva exchange are some of the most common ways to pass on the condition, as is intercourse or skin to skin contact is for genital herpes.

Symptoms

The hallmark symptom of herpes is a tingling or burning sensation before the outbreak occurs. Herpes often appears as a cluster of blisters on a base of red skin. The blisters can be characterized by their appearance and typically look like a drop of water filled with clear liquid. Once the blisters burst, the area appears as a superficial erosion with a scalloped border. The affected area dries up rapidly and leaves a scab that lasts anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the severity of the outbreak, and may cause scarring.

Treatment Options

Cold sores usually go away on their own within a few days. However, if the lesions are visible on the lip or near the mouth, they can be painful and cause those afflicted to feel embarrassed or insecure with their appearance. Likewise, if lesions are present in the genital area, one may wish to initiate treatment sooner than later to avoid transmitting the virus to another.  Adean Kingston, M.D., PLLC can assist you in speeding up the healing process by prescribing oral and topical antivirals, as well as recommending oral L-Lysine supplement. Treatment provided by a professional can help your healing period move along easier, but full recovery still will take some time. There are numerous over-the-counter topicals which have been proven effective for cold sore healing as well. If you frequently get cold sores or genital herpes, we can discuss treatment options based on outbreak frequency and severity.

Treat Cold Sores

Getting a cold sore or having genital herpes can be stressful for individuals afflicted. At Adean Kingston, M.D., PLLC in Dallas, Texas, we understand that you want your blisters treated quickly and effectively. We will work with you to diagnose your condition and formulate an individualized treatment plan so future outbreaks can be kept to a minimum. Call our office in Dallas, Texas to learn more and schedule your appointment with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Kingston.

*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.