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Fever Blisters Treatments, Research and News
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Fever blisters are small, painful sores that can arise on the outside of the mouth,
on the face, on the lips, chin and cheeks, and even on the inside of your nostrils.
Though they are often confused with canker sores, they are quite different, and are
actually better known as cold sores. Fever blisters are caused by an infectious,
highly contagious disease called Herpes Simplex Virus. There are two forms of Herpes
Simplex; the one that generally causes cold sores is type one. Type two can arise
orally, but more commonly causes symptoms in the genital area and is usually caused
by sexual contact. Cold sores on lips and mouth are more often spread by kissing,
touching and contact with saliva, and people who have the virus usually have their
first exposure before they turn ten years old.
If you have a lesion on your tongue or on the inside of your cheek, it is probably a canker sore rather than a cold sore. Canker sores start out with a small red swelling, then burst and get a white membrane over them. They can be as large as an inch across and can leave scars.
A fever blister will almost never form on the tongue. If they are inside your mouth,
they will either be on the roof of the mouth or on your gums; they are also much
smaller then canker sores. Fever blisters will start as a grouping of tiny fluid-
It is not at all unusual for children to break out with fever blisters; most people who get them are exposed to the virus before they turn ten. Children are usually exposed by kissing family members who have open sores, or by being touched by another child who is contagious with the virus.
Eighty percent of the population ends up carrying the disease without ever knowing
it, because it usually remains dormant, and for those who do get the blisters, it
may be years until the first outbreak. But about one in six people will experience
their initial outbreak just a few days after being exposed. This first flare up is
almost always the worst, not only because it is characterized by fever, aches, and
swollen glands, but also because it catches people unaware and without knowledge
of available cold sore treatment.
Though cold sores on lips and mouth are most common, they can also form on the inside of the nostrils. These are extremely painful, because the skin on the inside of the nose is so delicate. Because fever blisters tend to appear in the same area each time they recur, if you get them here you want to do everything you can to avoid them appearing in the first place.
Treatment during an outbreak can include ice or pain killers; there are also preventatives such as taking lysine for cold sores. Knowing your outbreak triggers helps also; many people get fever blisters when they are menstruating, ill or stressed. If you know that sun exposure is a problem for you, sun blocks are effective, especially those that combine spf prevention with lysine.
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