Are my cold sores and fever blisters normal?

Many patients ask us if mouth cold sores or fever blisters are normal. Typically, fever blisters are not harmful. However, you should call Singla Dental if you develop a cold sore while you are immunosuppressed by disease or medication. In these cases, cold sores may be life-threatening. A few causes of being immunosuppressed are malnutrition, cancer, AIDS, or chemotherapy.

What is a Cold Sore or a Fever Blister?

Cold sores and fever blisters are transferred through direct contact of infected saliva or skin. For example, if you kiss someone with a cold sore, you may also develop a cold sore. Most are caused by herpes simplex virus called HSV-1 which creates small blisters that develop into ulcers in your gums or on the roof of your mouth.  Additionally, cold sores or fever blisters can spread to the eyes, fingers, genitals, and other areas.

With the first onset of a cold sore, a primary infection develops, typically in childhood or adolescence, which can cause a fever and a sore mouth or throat. A sore lies dormant until activated by an illness such as a cold, fever, stress, exposure to excessive sunlight, menstruation, suppressed immune system, or lip trauma. Even if you do not remember your primary HSV-1 infection, the development of cold sores is a direct indication of HSV-1.

Cold Sore

Treatment

If the cold sore has not surfaced yet, Dr. Rupesh Singla, DMD may recommend antiviral medications that can be applied directly to the sore. Recovery time is usually less than one day. In addition to topical medication, antiviral drugs can be taken orally to prevent cold sores trigged by excessive exposure to sunlight. While you have a cold sore, use lip balm to moisturize, avoid touching it, and abstain from kissing while the sore heals.

Prevention

You can protect your child from developing a primary HSV-1 infection by ensuring they refrain from kissing anyone with a cold sore or fever blister. However, most children develop HSV-1 by adulthood. One major factor in cold sore development is excessive exposure to sunlight. To protect your skin, use sunscreen on the lips. Moreover, your risk of developing a cold sore increase if you have a weakened immune system. In this case, Dr. Rupesh Singla, DMD may prescribe antiviral medications to prevent cold sores.

Overall, once contracted, HSV-1 is a lifelong problem that can spur reoccurring infections. The best way to prevent this is to avoid physical contact with cold sores and limit sun exposure through sunblock. If you have a cold sore that needs attention, call Dr. Rupesh Singla, DMD today and schedule an appointment!