Many people don’t know if Cold Sores can be classed as Herpes.
What is Herpes?
Herpes is a contagious viral skin infection that causes blisters and sores on the skin. There are two types of herpes; the Herpes Simplex Virus 1 [HSV-1] that causes symptoms above the waist (mainly on and around the lip area) and the Herpes Simplex Virus 2 [HSV-2] that causes symptoms below the waist (mainly on and around the genital area).
When your bout of herpes symptoms are over the virus goes into a latent stage (inactive and hidden). The virus never leaves your body and can emerge (show symptoms) as an active infection again at any time.
How is Herpes contracted?
The herpes virus can be contacted during any form of sexual intercourse, skin-to-skin contact, sharing of towels and through oral sex from the mouth area of a person with HSV-1 to the genital area of another person and vice versa. Oral Herpes (HSV-1) can also be transmitted by sharing razors and kissing a person with the active virus.
What is a cold sore?
Cold sores are small fluid filled fever blister on and/or around the mouth area. These blisters are caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and these blisters are contagious. These fever blisters are usually associated with Canker Sores which are not the same.
How does one get a Cold Sore?
You can contract a cold sore by kissing, sharing razors, skin-to-skin contact, oral sex and sharing towels with a person who has the virus.
What are Canker Sores?
Canker Sores are ulcers (open wounds on the mucus membranes) in the mouth. Oral herpes occur on or around the mouth while Canker Sores occur inside the mouth.
How do you get Canker Sores?
The exact reason why people get Canker Sores is unknown. Many people who have recurrent Canker Sores usually suffer from low immune systems, stress, hormonal disorders, bowel disease or certain bacterial infections.
What is the difference between Cold Sores and Herpes?
How can we treat these conditions?
There is no cure for Herpes or Canker Sores. These treatment options are to give comfort to the person, lessen the duration of the infection and increase the time lapse between outbreaks.
- For Cold Sores:
- Put cold tea bags on your lips at the first sign of a breakout to inhibit the growth and reproduction of the virus.
- Place a piece of ice on the fever blister to numb and give comfort to the area.
- Use a good lip balm to moisturize the area and prevent the blisters from cracking and bleeding.
- For Genital Herpes:
- Use an Aloe Vera extract to sooth sores.
- Take warm baths.
- Keep the sores dry and clean.
- Wear loose cotton underwear.
- Eat healthy foods like fish, chicken and rice. Eating fruits and green vegetables are also important.
- Vitamin C and zinc should be taken to boost your immune system.
- For Canker Sores:
- Rinse your mouth out with a solution that consists of half a teaspoon of salt in 1-cup of water.
- Calamine (Calamox) lotion can be used as a soothing agent.
- Ointments and liquid products that contain benzocaine (pain reliever) can be used to relive the pain.