Cold sores can be pretty nasty! They usually indicate their arrival by an itching or burning sensation in the area, then followed by the physical cold sore.
They are caused by the Herpes Simplex virus. You get a ‘primary infection’ of herpes simplex (usually in childhood) where you can be quite ill; sore throat, swollen glands, headaches etc. and the sores are the recurrent infection you get usually when you’re feeling run down or possibly have a hormone imbalance.
They are easily spread!!! You can spread Herpes Simplex to cuts, your eyes, other areas of your mouth and you can also develop abscesses of the ends of your fingers called herpetic whitlows. So as hard as you might find it please try not to mess with it…. And its wise to cut down on the kissing for a while!! They are most contagious when the sore bursts and weeps.
If you do get a bout of Herpes Simplex then it usually clears up itself in about a week. There are cold sore creams available but please wash your hands after applying or even better use a cotton bud, in more severe cases your doctor may prescribe antiviral medication.
We recommend that you wait until your cold sore has gone before attending an appointment. Not only because there is a risk of spreading it but also because you lips may be sore, dry and may crack and bleed during treatment. In some cases it can lead to other nasty issues-so best to leave it!