Cold sores are common, but they can also be difficult to diagnose. Often people pick up a cold sore without even knowing about it. At other times, people tend to mis-diagnose spots and other skin complaints as cold sores, leading them to deal with it badly, exacerbating the condition. In truth, when you know what to look for, cold sores are extremely simple to spot. However, if you are unsure it is always advisable to talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
In essence, cold sores appear as no more than a small blister. Typically, this will occur on or around the lip area. A small bump filled with liquid is usually the sign of a cold sore. However, cold sore symptoms are not only visual. As a cold sore is coming on, it is common to feel a slight tingling feeling around the lip. Some people report the feeling as more of a burn or an itch. The feeling is generally mild.
For some people, cold sores can be a recurring problem. If you recognise the feeling and have had a cold sore in the past, it may well be the case that it is returning. The reason for this is that the cause of cold sores is actually a herpes virus, which never leaves the body. In some people, the virus will remain dormant, causing no problems whatsoever. Others will see cold sores return from time to time.
Keep it clean and reap the benefits
Cold sores are generally nothing to worry about. If kept clean, a cold sore should clear up in just over a week, without any treatment whatsoever. The healing time can be aided with the help of a cream or ointment.
Although cold sores are generally harmless, they can be a nuisance. Not only can they become uncomfortable, but they affect our appearance. For this reason, they are something which most of us are keen to avoid. There’s no sure method for preventing infection, but there are a few precautions we can take. The key here is to remember that the cold sore virus is passed between people. A strong immune system will therefore reduce your chances of becoming infected. It will also help to be aware of when others have cold sores and to avoid contact with their lips and saliva; anything from kissing someone with a cold sore to sharing a glass with them can cause you to contract the cold sore virus.
If you think you may have a cold sore developing, or are unsure of how to diagnose something similar, look to the NHS for a professional opinion.