Cold sores are generally caused by a type of herpes simplex virus (HSV) called HSV-1. Rarely, cold sores may be caused by the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). HSV-2 may cause cold sores when a person had oral sex with someone who has an HSV-2 infection.
How do I get rid of cold sores?
Cold sore may go away without treatment within a week or two. You may consult a doctor to ease your symptoms and expedite the healing time.
If you get cold sores, the following 15 tips can help you get rid of cold sores faster:
- Avoid triggers like stress, sunlight, wind, and exertion.
- Stay hydrated by taking plenty of fluids.
- Antiseptic mouthwashes may help if brushing teeth is painful.
- Avoid acidic or salty foods, such as fried and grilled foods, soda, meat, and sugary foods and drinks.
- Eat cool and soft foods.
- Do not rub the affected part while applying the cream, dab the cream gently instead.
- Wash your hands before and after applying cream to the sores.
- Avoid touching the sores.
- Use sunscreens and lip balms with SPF.
- Pain and fever can be treated with OTC (over-the-counter) painkillers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen. Avoid ibuprofen if you have asthma or stomach ulcers or you had them in the past. Aspirin should not be given to children under 16 years of age.
- Do not kiss anybody while you have a cold sore. Kissing babies while you have a cold sore may cause a dangerous condition called neonatal herpes.
- Do not share your creams, towels, cutlery, or cosmetics while you have a cold sore
- Antiviral creams, such as acyclovir, valacyclovir, famciclovir, or penciclovir, may help to speed up healing. You may get the cold sore creams from the pharmacies over the counter without a prescription. Do not share your cold sore cream. These creams are most effective in the initial stages of the cold sore when you begin to feel a tingling or itching sensation. Creams may not be beneficial when frank rashes appear. You may need to apply the cream five times a day for five to six days.
- Antiviral tablets may be taken on a doctor’s prescription in severe cases.
- Cold sore patches contain a special gel, hydrocolloid. They can be placed over the cold sore to cover the sore area while it heals.
You must consult your doctor if you have cold sores and:
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Common Medical Abbreviations & Terms
Doctors, pharmacists, and other health-care professionals use abbreviations, acronyms, and other terminology for instructions and information in regard to a patient's health condition, prescription drugs they are to take, or medical procedures that have been ordered. There is no approved this list of common medical abbreviations, acronyms, and terminology used by doctors and other health- care professionals. You can use this list of medical abbreviations and acronyms written by our doctors the next time you can't understand what is on your prescription package, blood test results, or medical procedure orders. Examples include:
- ANED: Alive no evidence of disease. The patient arrived in the ER alive with no evidence of disease.
- ARF: Acute renal (kidney) failure
- cap: Capsule.
- CPAP: Continuous positive airway pressure. A treatment for sleep apnea.
- DJD: Degenerative joint disease. Another term for osteoarthritis.
- DM: Diabetes mellitus. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- HA: Headache
- IBD: Inflammatory bowel disease. A name for two disorders of the gastrointestinal (BI) tract, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
- JT: Joint
- N/V: Nausea or vomiting.
- p.o.: By mouth. From the Latin terminology per os.
- q.i.d.: Four times daily. As in taking a medicine four times daily.
- RA: Rheumatoid arthritis
- SOB: Shortness of breath.
- T: Temperature. Temperature is recorded as part of the physical examination. It is one of the "vital signs."
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