Cold sores, which usually show up as unsightly, painful blemishes around the mouth, are caused by the herpes simplex virus. The lesion that forms on the lip lies dormant inside a nerve cell and when released into the surrounding tissues, causes the lesion. The lesion is formed by the destruction of skin cells as they are burst from the invasion of the virus particles. Unlike most viral infections, Herpes outbreaks recur with regular frequency and have a tendency to recur in the same area. Although there are many triggering factors among people, stress, high fever, exposure to sun, and a low immune system are the most common factors.
Most people will get a tingling or burning sensation 24 to 36 hours in the area where the lesion is developing. Acyclovir or Valtrex are anti-viral medications that are helpful at this stage of development, but neither have the same long term positive effect as laser treatment of the lesion. By treating the cold sore with a laser treatment they rarely recur or if they do, subsequent outbreaks are less severe. Laser treatment for a cold sore is a fast and painless procedure. Best treated at the first stage (tingly feeling) to prevent it from developing into the (full bloom) stage however, treatment after the blister has formed will still greatly reduce symptoms and shorten the course of the outbreak.
Call us immediately at the first sign of a cold sore…and we will get you in the same day. 239.732.9000