Basic Facts of Cold Sores

Cold sores or herpes labialis is not as frightening as any other contagious disease but still it continues to horrify a vast number of people. There has been no known fatality count for catching the disease. However, the very visible signs of the disease and the great discomfort suffered resulting from it would, naturally, frighten people. The common but erroneous idea that cold sores or herpes labialis is a sexually transmitted disease even makes it more terrifying, leaving many afflicted people emotionally traumatized. In this regard, quite a number of countries have made steps forward to heighten public awareness on the disease.

A vast number of the population in any country actually can contract herpes labialis. Its common name, cold sores, is attributed to the appearance of blisters on the skin surrounding the mouth. Herpes simplex virus 1, which is the cause of cold sores, can infect any person by mere facial skin-to-skin contact or hand to mouth contact with another who has it already.

When the virus is acquired, it can just be inert inside the person’s body without any visible signs of its existence. An unknowing carrier, naturally, can spread the disease even more easily. Unconscious that he is already has the virus; he can just promote the contagion of herpes labialis in his environment.

Until a herpes breakout takes place, the virus remains dormant in an infected person’s nervous system. However, when his immune system is weakened, the virus activates and triggers the breakout. The virus becomes active if the carrier is physically weak or emotionally depressed. Any other physical and psychological deterioration such as fatigue and stress can set-off the virus and generate the breakout.

A breakout is characterized with the emergence of blisters and lesions on the lips and its periphery.    The ugly cold sore causes severe discomfort for the infected. The blisters are irritably itchy and induce a burning sensation on the mouth of an infected person. It becomes uncomfortable to eat and talk.  The skin disorder on the skin can also result into an emotional trauma. He would lessen his social interaction, as his self-esteem would plunge to lower levels.

A total cure for herpes labialis is yet to be found. An infection of the herpes remains permanent. Various drugs, however, have been manufactured to remedy the painful sensations related to it and to lessen the spread of the cold sore blister. Ideas on herbal concoctions and homemade treatments have also been shared by many people in the hope of lessening the impact of cold sores or a herpes labialis breakout.