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Cold Sores

Cold sores are small fluid-filled blisters that appear on the lips and/or around the mouth. They are typically caused by the herpes simplex virus (or HSV).

Cold sores are highly contagious and very common. In the vast majority of cases, cold sores are not serious and can be treated by a over the counter medicine.

While there is no known cure for cold sores, antiviral medications like Aciclovir and Zovirax can help ease symptoms, speed up healing, and help against future outbreaks.

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  • Compeed Cold Sore Patch - 15 Pack

    Compeed Cold Sore – 15 Patches

    An invisible patch that seals cold sores to accelerate the body's natural healing mechanism

  • Zovirax Cold Sore Cream Aciclovir Tube 2g

    Zovirax Cream – 2gm Pump

    Effective topical treatment for mild cold sore

  • aciclovir 400mg

    Aciclovir

    Safe and effective treatment for cold sores

    From: £12.95 From £12.95 
  • valaciclovir 500mg tablets

    Valaciclovir

    Effective TWICE daily treatment for cold sore

    From: £29.99 From £29.99 

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What are cold sores?

Cold sores are blisters that typically develop on or around the lips. They are most commonly caused by the HSV-1 type (oral herpes), and less commonly by the HSV-2 type (genital herpes). Cold sores are normally passed from person to person through kissing, or sharing cutlery, creams, towels, razors, or toothbrushes.

A lot of people do not experience any symptoms when they have become infected with the virus. In-stead, cold sores tend to appear when we are ill or stressed. While cold sores tend to clear up on their own after around 10 days, this healing process can be very uncomfortable. This is why we advise taking medication as soon as you start experiencing cold sore symptoms.

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus, which can cause both cold sores and genital her-pes via oral sex. While some people never experience any symptoms, others can have frequent outbreaks. Things like sunlight, tiredness, stress, skin injuries, and menstruation can act as ‘triggers’ for cold sores.

Tingling, itching, and burning are the most common early warning signs of a cold sore outbreak. Over the next couple of days, small blisters will appear and fill with fluid. This fluid may leak, and the blisters will eventually burst and begin to scab over. These blisters usually start to disappear after 10 days.

Cold sores are contagious from the moment you begin feeling symptoms such as itching and burning up until the cold sore has completely healed and disappeared. This tends to take 7 to 10 days but can last as long as 2-3 weeks in some cases. However, the use of anti-viral medication can significantly reduce the healing period.

Cold sores are highly contagious during an outbreak, from the onset until the end of the healing process. To help you reduce the likelihood of spreading the infection, we have compiled a list of ‘Do’s and Don’ts’.
Do:

• eat cool, soft foods
• drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration
• wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after applying any creams
• avoid any known triggers, where possible
• if using lip balm, ensuring it is SPF 15 or above when outdoors
• take painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, to ease any pain or inflammation
• be extra cautious around newborn babies, pregnant women, and people with a low immune system, such as someone with HIV or undergoing chemotherapy

Do not:
• touch your cold sores (unless applying cream)
• kiss anyone while you have a cold sore
• have oral sex while you have a cold sore (this can cause genital herpes)
• share anything that comes into contact with your cold sore (including cutlery, tow-els, etc.)
• share any cold sore creams or medication with others
• eat salty or acidic foods
• rub antiviral cream onto your cold sore, gently dab instead

The cold sores virus is incurable, but there are medications available to help manage an outbreak. These treatments work best when begun as soon as you first experience symptoms and can help ease any pain and reduce healing time. Over the counter medications such as Zovirax cream and Compeed cold sore patches are used for mild cases but Aciclovor and Valaciclovir are prescribed for moderate to sever cases.