Cold Sore Symptoms

Finger and lips in mirror

What are Cold Sore symptoms?

Cold sores are blisters that form around the exterior lips or inside the mouth, caused by an infection with the “Herpes Simplex Virus.” In conversation, cold sores generally refer to blisters around the mouth and are known as Type 1. Anytime a single cold sore appears it is considered an outbreak, although outbreaks commonly produce multiple sores. Cold sores cause mild discomfort to extreme physical pain. Their severity usually depends on how many previous outbreaks have occurred, as well as how quickly antivirals for cold sores are taken.

“The Herpes Simplex Virus transfers easily between people often through normal human interaction, like kissing.”


What are Cold Sore outbreak symptoms?

Cold sore outbreak symptoms are typically more significant during your first outbreak. Unless treated with Acyclovir or Valacyclovir antivirals, ongoing outbreaks can differ in frequency and severity with some or all of the following symptoms present:
  • Painful blisters on the mouth, lips, nose or throat
  • Cold sore blisters will eventually pop and scab over to begin healing the affected tissue
  • Mouth and throat pain
  • Swelling in the neck
  • Fever and body aches (similar to flu symptoms)
  • Cold sore symptoms last about 12 days

Why do I have a Cold Sore?

The virus that causes cold sores (Herpes Simplex Virus) transfers easily between people often through normal human interaction, like kissing or sharing a drink. The virus can be transferred during oral sex, from genitals to mouth, for example. As a result, herpes has developed a stigma that commonly leads to embarrassment. But the truth is we live with viruses every day, it’s part of what makes us human.

How do I get rid of a Cold Sore?

The good news is that cold sores can be successfully treated and Suppressed With Meds to limit the extent of future outbreaks. The quicker you take the medication, the less severe (if at all) the outbreak. Unless actively treated, herpes can spread between partners even in the absence of any external symptoms through a process called Viral Shedding.
An acyclovir pill, or valacyclovir, should be taken the moment you start to feel a cold sore outbreak oncoming. Cold sore symptoms include painful blisters on the mouth, lips, nose, or throat; fever and body aches (similar to the flu); mouth and throat pain; blisters that eventually pop scab over; and swelling in the neck. Untreated cold sore symptoms last about 12 days. Normally you can feel cold sores coming a day or before they actually break through the skin, so you have some time to start treatment. Taking antivirals every day provides the best chance to prevent cold sore outbreaks completely. However, when taken at the first sign of an outbreak, antivirals will lessen outbreak symptoms significantly and allow your body to heal faster.

How do antiviral meds for Cold Sores work?

If you experience cold sore outbreaks (oral herpes), a personalized treatment plan will not only help manage the most painful symptoms during an outbreak, taking daily antiviral meds minimizes the transmission of the virus and can prevent outbreaks from occurring.
There are two types of treatment plans to consider: episodic and suppressive.
  • If you experience infrequent oral outbreaks (less than 6 per year), then taking antiviral medication "episodically" will decrease the length and severity of the outbreak. It's essential to take the valacyclovir or acyclovir pill as soon as you feel cold sores coming on, and continue taking antivirals until the sores have fully regressed. Valacyclovir is taken once a day, whereas acyclovir is taken twice a day.
  • If you experience frequent oral outbreaks (more than 6 per year), then taking antiviral medication "suppressively" will help prevent outbreaks before they happen. To suppress the outbreak and decrease the likelihood of transmission, antiviral medication must be taken every day. Suppressive treatments can reduce the chance of spreading the virus to sexual partners down to 1.9% and reduce the risk of an outbreak by 70%-80%, whereas episodic does not reduce spreading chances or outbreak chances.

Quick links to Cold Sore treatment

Antiviral medicine helps your body fight the herpes simplex virus by reducing the impact of symptoms and shortening the duration that symptoms will last. Antiviral medication works best when taken immediately after symptoms begin.
  • Other common treatment of herpes sores focuses on minimizing the discomfort and pain of oral and genital sores. While cold sore cream for herpes is available over-the-counter, the most effective Topical Pain Cream For Herpes requires a doctor’s prescription. Prescription cold sore cream minimizes the pain and severity of oral ulcers during an outbreak.
  • Because herpes medication works with your body’s natural defenses to fight the virus, another way to actively prevent outbreaks is by taking All-Natural Supplements that help strengthen the immune response when the virus flares up.
It’s important to get your cold sores under control as fast as possible to avoid the most severe cold sore symptoms. Some of the best treatments approved by the FDA available are valacyclovir and acyclovir for Cold Sores.
Getting a prescription to treat a cold sore outbreak shouldn't be difficult. Wisp is a hassle-free service that allows you to order cold sore treatment online and have your meds delivered free, without ever setting foot in a doctor's office. Privately message our medical team about your symptoms and order the medication you need to get your cold sores under control, same-day. Treatment is personalized for your needs, whether that means speeding up the healing process or preventing the outbreak altogether.

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