Many cold sore sufferers want to eliminate them before they begin. Those who often have recurrent fever blisters know that an imminent outbreak is about to happen when they sense that dreaded tingling sensation. Herpes labialis is caused by the herpes simplex virus-1 or HSV-1. At the moment, approximately 80 per cent of North Americans are reported to have this HSV-1 infection. They are usually acquired in early age, and can last throughout the entire person’s lifetime.
The initial infection strikes between six months and 14 years of age when the virus enters the body through the tiny cracks in the skin surface. But after the initial attack, HSV-1 travels along neuron fibres to the facial and cranial nerves along the spinal cord. The virus then turns dormant, or in other words, will hibernate for sometime.
When the viruses become active, this is when they start climbing up the surface of the neurons, then to the skin, which becomes the first lesion outbreak. Sufferers experience painful, tingling, itchy, swelling and numb sensations. Symptoms can also go with fever episodes, muscular pain, and mild headache.
Most common triggers to recurrence are stress, extreme weather changes, illness, diet, trauma to skin surface and hormonal changes. A cold sore outbreak can last for 10-14 days.
A number of creams and gels are available in drugstores and pharmacies. But some specific creams, particularly known as cold sore therapy works on fever blisters as symptoms appear, taking care of the symptoms to ensure assisted healing and cure.
First off is Anbesol Therapy, an ointment for sores which works by temporarily relieving pain caused by the sore. Also, it keeps the fever blisters moisturize and relived form dryness and chapping. The main ingredient of this product is white petrolatum or more commonly known as petroleum jelly. It also contains a minimal amount of benzocaine, or a local and topical anesthetic, which promotes numbing effect, resulting to relief of the pain felt in the cold sore blisters. Camphor, also an ingredient of this cold sore therapy ointment results to soothing effect of the sore. It is recommended to be applied to the blisters for not more than 4 times daily. Children under 2 years old may also require a doctor’s attention before using this cold sore therapy.
Second is Chapstick therapy, a branded over-the-counter treatment. It is designed to help relieve pain and itching associated with cold sores, while moisturizing the skin to prevent it from cracking. Just like Anbesol, Chapstick therapy’s main ingredients are benzocaine, menthol, and camphor. Their therapeutic effects help soothing the pain, easeitchiness, providing antiseptic treatment, and ultimately with white petrolatum, allantoin and aloe vera, and vitamin E promotes moisturizing of the skin surface; resulting to relief from the discomforts of cold sore symptoms.
It is also important to know that some people may be allergic to any of the ingredients of cold sore therapy, thus exacerbation of symptoms may happen. Consult the doctor when this occurs.