Cold sores aren’t just unsightly, they’re also painful and highly infectious. …read moreSee less
They’re small, fluid-filled blisters that appear around the lip area, and once you have the virus in your system, cold sores tend to reappear. Don’t worry, we have a range of treatments available to improve the appearance and relieve the discomfort of your cold sore, from trusted brands like Bonjela and Zovirax.
- Aciclovir cold sore cream
- Antiviral cream to treat viral infections
- Can also be used to treat genital herpes
- Always read the patient information leaflet before use
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Are cold sores contagious?
Yes, cold sores are very contagious and are spread through close contact like kissing, oral sex or sharing cutlery.
Even when your cold sore scabs over, it will still be contagious, but it’s at its highest in the blister form when it’s wet and oozing.
You should refrain from touching your cold sore (apart from when you’re applying treatments) and avoid close contact with others to avoid spreading the virus onto surfaces and to other people.
Are cold sores dangerous for babies?
Cold sores are usually harmless to older children, but they can be very dangerous to babies as they’re immune systems aren’t fully developed.
If you’re a caregiver with a cold sore, it’s vital that you do not kiss or share things such as spoons and cups with your baby - but don’t worry, the virus cannot be transmitted via breast milk.
If you think your baby has a cold sore, they will need medical assistance immediately as the consequences can be severe.
What is a cold sore?
Cold sores are small blisters that usually appear on your lips, although they can appear anywhere on the face.
They are often grouped together and appear on or around your lips due to the herpes simplex virus.
Cold sores are caused by a virus that lives in your skin, flaring up every so often to form itchy, contagious blisters.
When this blister bursts, the cold sore will scab over, usually disappearing in a couple of weeks without leaving a scar.
They’re very contagious and can be spread by close contact like kissing or sharing cutlery.
When you have the virus you can get a cold sore at any time, although you may find that some things, like illnesses or your period, can cause flare-ups.
Cold sores are harmless, although they can feel itchy, burning, and irritating, and they’ll usually clear up on their own within 10 days.
However, if your cold sores are very large, painful, or keep coming back, you may benefit from a prescription treatment like aciclovir to help keep them under control.
What is the best treatment for a cold sore?
Although you won’t be able to cure a cold sore completely due to there being no cure for the herpes virus, you can alleviate the pain and appearance.
Avoid acidic or spicy foods to not aggravate your cold sore, and apply ice to soothe the pain.
You can also use remedies that include a numbing and antiviral agent to ward away a cold sore when it first appears.