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What Is A Cold Sore?

Understanding What Is A Cold Sore

It is quite common for a person suffering from cold sores to be inquisitive about what is a cold sore. Cold sores, also referred to as “fever blisters”, are groups of blisters which appear near the mouth or lips and as a result the skin gets red and swollen. These blisters are filled with fluid which comes out when they break open. The healing process takes a time span of 10-14 days. Cold sores cannot get completely cured. They are quite harmless and get healed without any proper treatment. If necessary, in order to reduce the pain and discomfort that accompany the disorder, one can turn to certain natural or clinical remedies.

Cold sore is a viral infection and is caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus or HSV. Normally, there are two kinds of HSV. HSV-1 is actually the virus that causes cold sores and HSV-2 results in what is known as genital herpes. The question what is a cold sore not only discusses the definition and causes of cold sores but also concerns the various symptoms related to this disease. Some of the common symptoms that are usually visible in the initial stage include sore throat, fever, mouth soreness and swollen lymph nodes. Cold sores cannot be diagnosed in their early stage because a person’s initial contact with the germs or HSV 1 does not instantly cause the ailment.

The virus infects the human body at a very early age but remains latent inside the body. Factors such as anxiety, stress, viral fever, menstruation, depression and the like trigger the virus to get activated. Once the HSV becomes active, cold sores occur. The virus can be deactivated only by the defense system of the body. However, HSV does not get totally eradicated and stays hidden inside. So, it is highly possible that cold sores might recur. Asking the question what is a cold sore also includes the answer that a cold sore is highly contagious. The virus can spread easily through coughing and sneezing. Direct contact with or touching the items used by the person already infected can spread the virus as well.