What to Do When You Have a Cold Sore?

What to Do When You Have a Cold Sore?

Posted by McConnell Dental Care on May 19 2021, 07:54 AM

Having cold sores can be very irritating and can also cause you to feel overly conscious. However, cold sores are not a serious condition and can be treated fairly easily especially when using advanced treatments. 

Read on to find out what you can do when you have a cold sore. 

What is a Cold Sore?

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus and occur around the mouth and nose. They can also appear on the gums or the roof of the mouth or other parts of the body. 

The first symptom of cold sores is an itching sensation. It can start a few days before the blisters break out. These tiny blisters can cause itchiness, pain, or a burning sensation. 

Cold sores affect 1 in 2 American adults (source) and are caused by direct contact. This can include sharing toothbrushes or drinking from the same glass, kissing or being in close contact with an infected person, or sharing lipsticks and lip balms.

Cold sores can also be triggered by other illnesses like colds or increased levels of stress, as well as excessive exposure to sun or wind and hormonal changes. 

Should You Cover Cold Sores?

The easiest solution for covering cold sores is a cold sore bandage. They make the blisters practically invisible. You can also use lipstick, powder, or foundation to cover it up but this is not recommended until the cold sore is partially healed since it can lead to infection. 

How to Treat Cold Sores

Specific treatment is not usually required, as the cold sores usually go away on their own in up to two weeks.

However, to relieve pain or itchiness, you can:

  • Apply an antiviral cream to shorten the outbreak time
  • Apply ice to relieve swelling or a cool compress to reduce redness
  • Do not break the blisters or pick the outer crusting until the area is healed 
  • Try to reduce stress and drink plenty of fluids 

Other treatments include OTC creams or tablets. However, the most effective way to treat cold sores is laser therapy. It can help relieve symptoms and destroy the virus that is causing them. 

If you would like to know more about the advanced solutions we offer for treating cold sores such as laser therapy, call McConnell Dental Care at (435) 249-0482 or schedule an online appointment. You can also visit us at 263 Country Club Dr #102, Stansbury Park, UT 84074. 


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