Cold Sore On Lips: Causes And Best Remedies To Dry Up Cold Sores
Dr. Bhupendra Kannojiy
January 06, 2021
Viral infections come in many forms and some of them have very visible symptoms. Cold sores or fever blisters are one such type of viral infection that manifest as blisters around the mouth. These sores are usually clumped together and are quite painful too. Moreover, the sores are unsightly as well and the entire condition is very contagious. It spreads quite easily through physical touch and even after treatment, there is a chance of reinfection.
Given the highly infectious nature of cold sores, it is crucial that you’re aware of this condition. Simply overlooking blisters around the mouth and leaving them unchecked is dangerous and increases the chances of spreading the infection drastically. When you start showing signs of infection, the goal should be to get rid of a cold sore fast and without risking an outbreak. Ideally, this involves expert care, but it is also good to know what look for yourself. To that end, here’s all you need to know about a cold sore on lip, cold sore causes and the different cold sore remedies.
What are cold sores?
Cold sores or fever blisters are sores you develop on the mouth or on the outside of your lip. These are quite common and are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). The sores are filled with fluid and can last a few weeks before they dry up. Note that when you are infected by herpes on the lip, there is no cure. The only solution is to manage the symptoms and control the spread of the infection. This infection also affects the genitals and can be transmitted via contact.
What are the causes of a herpes cold sore?
The main cause of cold sores is the virus; however, there are other factors that can also play a role. For instance, close contact or oral sex with the infected can also spread it to you. Almost anyone can get cold sores, but the risk is greater if you have a compromised or supressed immune system. Conditions such as HIV AIDS, eczema and cancer can result in complications with the virus.
What are the symptoms and stages of herpes on lip?
Besides the visible symptoms, the other signs that you have herpes are quite common with those of a viral infection. Here is a list of what to expect.
- Tingling sensation on the lips
- Red fluid-filled blisters
- Muscle aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
Once you notice any of these symptoms, you should immediately start treatment. If this is your first time contracting the infection, you may get headaches, painful gums and a sore throat as well. Now that you know the symptoms, here are stages of a cold sore.
- Tingling before the cold sores erupt
- Appearance of the blisters
- Blisters burst and form painful sores
- Sores dry and form an itchy scab
- Scabs begin to fall and the cold sore starts to heal
What are common cold sore remedies you can try at home?
Home remedies for cold sores generally revolve around drying up the blister. Since this infection takes at least 2 weeks to clear up, all you should focus on is reducing the discomfort. Here are options you can consider.
- Using Kanuka Honey
- Making a tea tree oil mixture
- Diluting apple cider vinegar to apply on the skin
- Applying creams with lemon balm
What are the medications used for cold sore on lip treatment?
Medicines that contain numbing agents such as menthol and phenol help dry out sores and soften scabs. In addition to this, anaesthetic gels and oral medications can also help reduce chances of reinfection and speed up healing. Certain antivirals such as famciclovir (Famvir), acyclovir (Zovirax), and valacyclovir (Valtrex) work effectively, especially within the first 48 hours.
Is there a difference between a cold sore in mouth and a blister on lip?
The first and most important difference is that a cold sore in the mouth is a canker sore, whereas a blister on the lip is herpes. A canker sore may be triggered by several factors such as nutrient deficiency, hormone fluctuations, injury in the mouth, stress and others and aren’t contagious. On the other hand, cold sores are caused by the HSV virus.
Treating cold sores demands quick action and any delay increases the risk of an outbreak or further spread. Cold sore treatment should thus be a priority for you, whether you opt for cold sore remedies at home using natural means or via specialised medication under a doctor’s supervision. It is also important that you don’t confuse a cold sore inside the lip to be caused by the same virus. Such assumptions can lead you self-administer the wrong medications or cold sore cream and cause further problems. Ideally, when you notice the signs, be cautious about infecting others around you and seek medical care immediately. To find the right specialist and get cold sore treatment fast, be sure to use the Bajaj Finserv Health app.
With this app, you enjoy easy access to quality healthcare services right through your smartphone. With it, you can find the best doctors around you and also book appointments at their clinics online. The app also has helps you store your patient and health records digitally, so you can send them over to specialists online when needed. What’s more, you can also make the most of the telemedicine provision on the app to consult doctors virtually, over video or chat. You can also access features that allow you to track your risks for common health diseases, set medication and vaccine reminders and find affordable healthcare options to suit your pocket. For access to all the perks and benefits of this app, download it for free on the Apple App Store or on Google Play today!