Is there a Difference between Fever Blisters and Cold Sores?
The experts claim that cold sores and fever blisters are the same thing. A certain virus called herpes simplex virus is the cause of these conditions. Due to the fact that the virus is highly contagious, a lot of people are infected with it. This virus has two main types and it is usually type 1 that causes an outbreak. The medical term for these conditions is oral herpes.
The researchers are still unable to find the cure for the herpes simplex virus. That means that a person who got infected with it will have it for the rest of his or her life. However, there are many ways to deal with the outbreak of cold sores and even prevent them. Knowing the symptoms is essential. Before an actual outbreak occurs, a person may experience a strange feeling in his or her lip. Soreness is felt most often but swelling can develop as well. After that, skin eruptions develop and as the condition progresses tinny fluid-filled blisters form. The blister break after some time and they form ulcers. The virus is most contagious during the period when the ulcers are open. When they stop weeping fluid, scabs develop and then the healing period commences. Two weeks is the usual time required for the cold sores to heal. First outbreaks are the toughest as a person does not know what to expect. Every outbreak after that will not be as hard as the person will be more familiar with the whole process. Some people may never have the problems of fever blisters as they never have an outbreak during their entire lives.According to the data, a little bit less than 100% of the entire population in the United States is exposed to various viruses in the family and at work and herpes simplex virus is one of them. Not every person who is infected experiences recurring outbreaks of fever blisters but more than 40% of the infected suffer from at least one outbreak every year. It is often seen that a person goes through four or more outbreaks within a period of one year.
How are Fever Blisters Spread?
Almost every person gets infected with the herpes simplex virus the first time his or her skin either in or around the mouth gets in contact with the virus. Gingivostomatitis is the name of the outbreak which develops inside the mouth. Gums, throat and the tongue are the places where the blisters will occur. Majority of those infected with the virus get exposed to the virus between the ages of half a year and three years of age. Pain, fever, swollen lymph nodes and problems with swallowing are the most often seen difficulties that children experience. Dehydration is a real threat at that time as the child will refuse to drink fluids if that action provides pain. Due to this fact, a lot of doctors advise parent to use water-based popsicles as they will not only prevent dehydration but will relieve pain as well.The experts advise people to be really careful when they are near someone who is already infected with herpes simplex virus. The main reason why that is so, is because the virus is highly contagious. The most often seen way of spreading of the infection is direct contact with either infected saliva or droplets which can be found in the breath. Another way of spreading that is seen quite often is direct skin to skin contact with the infected person.
Recurrent outbreaks of the fever blisters have certain factors that reactivate them. These factors like exposure to the sun, too much stress, a cold, some illness or even dental work can act as stimuli that cause outbreaks to happen.There is a way a person can suspect of a recurring outbreak of fever blisters. Certain symptoms are felt before the actual outbreak appears. These symptoms are known as prodrome and the ones that are seen in a majority of those infected with herpes simplex virus are pain, tingling and burning sensation. These symptoms are almost always felt at the spot where the previous outbreak occurred. It is essential that a person acts as soon as herpes prodrome appears as the symptoms can last either 2 hours or 2 days.