No one likes having a cold sore; those annoying, tingly, painful little sores that often occur on the lips, or skin around our nose, mouth and chin. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus and approximately 90% of the population are infected. Whilst generally harmless, they can be irritating and unsightly.
Cold sores are spread via contact with saliva or the fluid from cold sore blisters. Unfortunately, they can be spread even when a person is not suffering from a cold sore outbreak.
If possible it is best to avoid spreading cold sores; so hold off on the kissing, hugging, sharing of eating utensils and toothbrushes (not a good habit though in general!). In particular, steer well clear of young babies, children with eczema or burns and people with a suppressed immune system.
Fluid-filled blisters often form, which can burst and form a crust. These will generally go away within 10 days or so., however whilst this is happening our self-esteem can take a beating. Do not panic though, the pharmacy has various creams, tablets and patches which may reduce severity, improve healing time and prevent secondary infections associated with cold sores.