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If you are anything like me, you fear getting cold sores even though you may not be positive what they are exactly.  Let’s explore together, shall we?

Whether you call them cold sores or fever blisters, these groups of bumps seize the mouth area and wreak havoc for two to seven days.  The skin around the blisters becomes red, swollen and sore and can sometimes break open and leak a clear liquid, but then scab over.

The culprit causing these embarrassing blisters is our dear friend, the herpes simplex virus (HSV).  Our dear friend also has a buddy, which can cause sores around the mouth and his name is herpes simplex virus 2: HSV-2.  These two can also cause chaos on your genitals.

So, how do these two guys infect you?

Like ninjas, they enter the body through a break in the skin around or inside the mouth.  You may not even know the break is there!

To prevent cold sore infection be sure to NOT:

  • Share eating utensils
  • Share razors
  • Share towels
  • Share toothbrushes
  • Share silverware
  • Kiss an infected person
  • Touch an infected person’s saliva
  • Skip sunscreen

I think I have a cold sore, but do I?

Are you experiencing pain around your mouth or lips?  Do you have a fever, sore throat and/or swollen glands?  These are the first symptoms of cold sores.  Treatment may include skin creams, ointments or sometimes pills.  Treatment may get rid of the cold sores only one to two days faster, but it can also help ease painful blisters or other uncomfortable symptoms.  Treatment can, however, reduce the number of cold sores you develop and their severity.

If you have cold sores, treatment is available.  If you have not been infected, be sure to take precautions to make sure you stay that way.