Wanted: Cold Sores

By: Gaby Hill

Cold Sores

Cold sores are also commonly known as fever blisters, oral herpes, or herpes labialis. They are lesions that occur on the mouth, lip, and facial area and are caused by the Herpes simplex virus.

Reasoning for being Wanted:

Cold sores are wanted because this organism will attack you through herpes simplex virus. And it usually enters the body through a break in the skin around or inside the mouth. It is usually spread when a person touches a cold sore or touches infected fluid-such as from sharing eating utensils or razors, kissing an infected person, or touching that person's saliva. A parent who has a cold sore often spreads the infection to his or her child in this way. Cold sores can also be spread to other areas of the body. 80% of the American population have been exposed to Herpes simplex virus( which cause the cold sores).

Examples of Herpes Simplex Virus/Cold Sores

Most Common Victims

The most common victims to this virus seems to be related with people who have their immune systems lowered or run down. But their are many factors that can influence or "trigger"a cold sore outbreak. Ex. being run down, steroid medication, menstruation cycle, drinking a lot of alcohol etc.

Hideout of our Culprit

Cold sores are considered to be the most contagious when the blisters have burst open and have begun to weep fluid. This is because the liquid held in the blisters contains literally millions of herpes simplex virus particles. During an outbreak, the population of virus particles becomes less and less as the cold sore runs its course. There is a much smaller amount of virus particles present when the sore is healing and when the scab has formed.

What This Virus Can Do To You

The first stage is the most severe as most people have not been exposed to the virus before and antibodies will not have produced to trigger immune response. The symptoms may take longer to appear or be less severe in some people, especially those with partial immunity to the virus from having facial herpes,aka cold sores. When the herpes virus gets into the skin cells it reproduces itself and starts to multiply, making the skin red and sensitive. Blisters or bumps may appear on the genital area, the blisters first opening, then healing with the regeneration of new skin tissue. This can cause severe headaches, fever etc. It is painful to touch and is red and sensitive. It may also itch, burn or tingle during the outbreak.

How Dangerous This Virus is

This virus is kind of dangerous because it has affective symptoms and can be dangerous to who gets it. And it has affected many people so many people who get those symptoms. But I also don't think this virus is that bad because it can be cured easily. All you need to do is take some nutrients and some medicine for this disease and you can be cured with in 8-12 days. But there are other diseases and viruses that do way more damage and can be life threatening. So I would have to give this disease a 5 on the ranking scandal. Because it is affective but its also not the worst.

Treatment

Treatment depends on the individual who has it. Because there are many types of different treatments and remedies for cold sores. Cold sore ointments such as Abreva, Zovirax, and Dynamiclear can help to shorten the duration of the outbreak. Home remedies such as black tea(which is high in tannins) or diluted tea tree oil can also be helpful to speed recovery.
  • Ice can be applied to the cold sore to both numb the area and soothe it. it will also lower the temperature of the infection, helping to inhibit the virus.
  • Warm tea bags applied to the infected area every hour may be beneficial. This is because black tea bags(such as Early Grey) contain tannic acid which has antiviral properties, best used as the first sign of an outbreak.
There are also medicinal herbs and nutrients, such as Lysine, which can make a difference to the frequency of cold sores.

5 facts about Cold sores that you may not know

1. Just because you have it doesn't mean you will have an outbreak. Because some people's immune systems have the ability to completely suppress the virus.
2. Cold sores do not usually occur inside the mouth, however if they do it is most likely considered a canker sore not a cold sore.
3. When cold sores appear again, they will typically appear on the location they were on previous outbreaks

4. People often con fuse canker sores with cold sores since there both located in the mouth region on the face. But canker sores are inside the mouth and cold sores are on the outside near the lip region.
5. 80% of the American population have been exposed to the herpes simplex virus (which is the virus that causes cold sores).