Cold sores can be incredibly problematic for patients. In addition to being painful, they can make men and women alike feel self-conscious and embarrassed by their presence. Ideally, patients want them to not only go away, but do so quickly without leaving a scar. The team at Aesthetic Dentistry of Georgetown in Georgetown, TX can assist with reducing and managing cold sores.
What is a cold sore?
A cold sore, sometimes referred to as “fever blisters,” are a result of a common viral infection caused by herpes simplex virus type 1. This highly contagious condition can be spread easily from person-to-person contact, such as sharing food, beverages, or kissing. While some patients may carry the herpes simplex virus type 1 without any signs or symptoms, others deal with blistering and painful cold sores that develop in the mouth or on the lips.
What causes cold sores?
Cold sores may be caused by various triggers including:
- Increased levels of stress
- Hormonal imbalances
- Recent illness
- Sun exposure
- Food allergies
How does a cold sore present itself?
There are specific stages of cold sores that can better assist patients in understanding how they progress. First, patients will notice tingling or itching before the cold sore develops, and this may remain for a day or two until a blister develops. This painful area is often fluid-filled. When the blister bursts, oozing and crusting can occur. This entire process can take days or weeks from development to healing, causing patients to feel extremely self-conscious about the way they look.
How do I treat a cold sore?
Cold sores cannot be cured or completely prevented, but there are ways to speed up the healing process and reduce the risk of scarring. Benzocaine products can be used to numb the area and help reduce pain, along with acetaminophen or ibuprofen for swelling. Oral antiviral medications obtained via prescription can help, or the use of over-the-counter antiviral creams can reduce the time in which cold sores are present.
Learn more about oral health care today
Drs. Mark Duncan and Mandy Holley of Aesthetic Dentistry of Georgetown are available to assist patients with their oral healthcare needs. If you want to learn more about how to control cold sores, or are just in need of a routine cleaning and examination, we can help. Call our office at (512) 819-9100 to request a consultation appointment at our facility, conveniently located at 3622 Williams Drive, Building 2 in Georgetown, TX.