More herpes: cold sores

Cold sore - aka herpes labialis or fever blister. This is caused by the herpes virus.
Cold sores, aka fever blisters or orolabial herpes is caused by… you guessed it… the herpes virus. Usually it’s cause by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1) but type 2 (HSV2) can cause it too.

How does it present? Usually there can be tingling or a burning sensation before anything appear on the skin. You can then get some redness and little water or pus bubbles in the skin which can then burst and crust over. You may also notice a fever, sore throat or swollen glands or lymph nodes.

How can you treat it? If started early, an antiviral medication such as valacyclovir or acyclovir can shorten the duration and intensity of your cold sores. Ask you doctor about whether these medications are right for you.

Herpes is infectious. Especially when you have open sores, don’t share straws, drinks etc. You can also spread the virus via kissing, etc. Try not to shave over the area either. You could drag the virus to nearby skin.