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Cold Sores aka Fever Blisters

Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are tiny, fluid-filled lesions that occur on and around the lips.  These blisters are often grouped together in patches.  After the blisters break, a crust forms over the sore.  A cold sore usually passes through several stages, which include:  tingling and itching, blisters, oozing, and crusting.  Symptoms can vary; some people also experience a fever, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes.  Cold sores usually heal within two weeks.  Cold sores spread from person to person by close personal contact and they are caused by a herpes simplex virus (HSV-1).  There is no cure for the HSV infection and the blisters may recur sporadically, often in response to stress or a weakened immune system.   Prescription antiviral medications such as Zovirax, Valtrex, and Denavir may speed up the healing process and may reduce the frequency of recurrences.  There are also some home remedies to try that may help ease cold sore symptoms, such as applying ice or an over-the-counter cream called Abreva.

– from Karin S. (Dental Assistant)
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