causes, duration and treatment

Almost everyone has suffered or will suffer from cold sores in the mouth throughout their life, and cold sores are one of the most common diseases our lips can get. Although we do not have symptoms, according to several studies, more than 90% of the population has been infected with this virus before reaching middle age. The period when we usually make the first contact is during childhood and it becomes dormant in our body forever.

known as simple herpes (not to be confused with shingles), is a fairly common infection that can appear anywhere on the body, although it is much more common on the lips. “It’s not a really worrying infection, it usually has mild symptoms,” explains the doctor. Antonio Clemente, member of the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (AEDV).

Detecting if we have an epidemic is quite easy, since it has very characteristic symptoms. In most cases, it starts with a “tingling and itching in the area. Small fluid-filled blisters then appear. which in the following days evolves into a crust”, explains Clemente. Over the days (from 1 to 3 weeks), this scab ends up falling off without major complications and without leaving scars.

Causes of cold sores

The main cause, as the expert tells us, is a lowering defenses. When our immune system is compromised or weakened, herpes develops in people who are prone to it. “Because of this, some people get herpes every month and there are people who never get it, it all depends on our body’s response to the virus,” he adds.

Another trigger is stress, and it is that this state goes hand in hand with a drop in the defenses of our body. When we are under continuous stress, we generate a lot of cortisol and norepinephrinewhich weakens the immune system and becomes a vicious cycle.

The sun, for its part, also influences its appearance as Dr. Clemente tells us. Apparently the UVB radiation It is closely linked to the activation of the virus, so you have to be especially careful during the summer and use balms or cocoa with protection.

Treatments to cure rashes

Being a fairly common condition, we have many treatments to speed up the healing process of each outbreak, although according to the expert the most effective are those oral medications.

“The only treatment that has shown its effectiveness is treatment with oral antivirals, acyclovir, valacyclovir… there are several. To be effective, you have to take it within the first 24-48 hours, just when the patient notices the first symptoms. With this, the duration of the episode will be shorter and softer,” explains the doctor.

On the other hand, Clemente advises against the typical antiviral ointments sold in pharmacies: “Studies have shown that they are of little use, to say nothing.” However, to calm the symptoms, he recommends the dressings for fevers: “In some patients, they alleviate the symptoms and can be useful”.

Possible complications

Although very rare, complications can sometimes occur that need to be watched for, especially in certain situations. “In a specific case, if there is immunodeficiency or a problem or underlying pathology it’s important to be careful,” says the doctor.

If we usually have herpes, we should also take extreme precautions with laser treatmentsas Clemente warns us: “If we do one of these treatments, like a very aggressive fractionated CO₂, this herpes could become generalized and instead of being a localized infection, which is normal, it could be more serious, but normally it’s a very strange thing that we really don’t usually see. Whenever we perform treatment with aggressive lasers that produce wounds in the skin, we usually do prophylaxisthat is to say a prevention of herpes with drugs”.

Finally, Dr. Antonio Clemente reminds us that we should not worry too much, because “in most studies they have shown that almost everyone has had contact with the herpes simplex virus and does whether or not to manifest it depends on how our defenses against it are. In fact, if you you have good defenses and you have never had herpes, the normal thing is that don’t get it from a kiss or a touch“.

Would you like to receive the best beauty, fashion and lifestyle content free of charge every Thursday in your mailbox? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Leave a Comment