Cold Sores

Friday, January 15, 2016

Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are recurrent infections caused by the herpes simplex virus. Find out more about fever blisters with Dr. Edward Hill in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Cold sores, sometimes called fever blisters, are a common viral infection. They are tiny, fluid-filled blisters on and around your lips. These blisters are often grouped together in patches.

The skin around the blisters is often red and inflamed. The blisters can break open, weep a clear fluid, and then scab over after a few days. Complete healing may take seven to 10 days.

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. You can be infected with herpes simplex virus and have no symptoms.

For some people, cold sores can be painful. Initial symptoms can include mouth soreness, fever, sore throat or swollen lymph glands. Small children sometimes drool before a cold sore appears.

Cold sores are contagious even if you dont see the sores. Theres no cure for the herpes simplex infection and the blisters may return.

Cold sores usually heal without treatment within a few days. Antiviral medications can help cold sores heal more quickly and may reduce how often they return.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.