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What are cold sores

Cold sores or fever blisters are a viral disease caused by the virus of herpes simplex type 1. They are very contagious, they cause discomfort and often embarrassment, but they are not dangerous.

Cold sores usually appear on the lips or around the mouth, and they are filled with liquid. They are usually preceded by the mild pain, burning and tingling. They take from 10 to 14 days to heal, during which time the blister breaks and oozes, leaves a yellow or red crust which finally falls off. If they are not picked at, which prolongs their duration and causes bleeding, cold sores do not leave a scar.

Medication for cold sores

Medications for cold sores can be taken orally or applied topically. They are best if taken as soon as a cold sore breaks out, preferably when prodromal symptoms like tingling or burning starts.

These medications have antiviral action, since cold sores are caused by the virus of herpex simples. They aim to reduce the symptoms, the number of lesions and their size, reduce the time necessary for healing and prevent spreading of the virus to other parts of the body.

One of those medications is topical Denavir. Denavir (Penciclovir one percent cream) is an FDA-approved ointment for recurring cold sores. If taken as soon as the first signs of a cold sore appear, this medication can reduce the healing time by two days. It also helps with the symptoms.

Zovirax (Acyclovir five percent cream), also FDA-approved, reduces the healing time by half a day. Low doses of this medication can shorten the duration, but higher doses are recommended if a person wants to relieve the pain caused by a cold sore.

Famvir or Famciclovir, taken upon the first signs of the infection with herpes simplex virus in one high dose can reduce the time necessary for healing of a cold sore by two days.

Valtrex or Valacyclovir is taken twice a day for one day in order to relieve the symptoms and reduce the healing period.

Like Denavir and Zovirax, both Valtrex and Famvir are FDA-approved medications for cold sores.

There are also natural, at-home remedies which may help treat cold sores. During treatment with both natural remedies and medications it is necessary to eat a healthy diet and possibly take supplements in order to boost the immune system. Human body has its ways of fighting viral infections but it needs a healthy, strong immune system in order to be able to do it.

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