If you suffer from painful and unsightly cold sores or fever blisters, it is highly likely that you have the Herpes Simplex Virus. This virus has two forms – HSV-1 and HSV-2. Cold sores and fever blisters are the result of HSV-1. While they may develop when you are ill with a cold or flu, they are not caused by the cold or flu virus. Despite their name, cold sores are caused by HSV-1.
HSV-1 is often passed from a person who has the virus to someone else by kissing. Many children have been exposed to and contracted HSV-1 as a result of a relative infected with HSV kissing them in greeting. Most times, both unwittingly and unintentionally on the part of the adult, the virus is then passed on to the child.
You are not alone
Around 50 to 80% of adults in the USA have HSV-1. According to statistics gathered by the National Institutes of Health, up to 90% of adults were exposed to this virus by the age of 50.
Unfortunately, the stigma surrounding herpes is both widespread and unfounded. Herpes is a virus. While it can be spread through sexual intimacy, it does not mean that the person with the virus is unclean or promiscuous. HSV-1 is spread through skin-to-skin contact.
A cold sore typically has 8 stages of development and healing. During all these stages, HSV-1 can be easily shed and spread. Shedding means that the infected person’s body is producing the infectious virus particles that can be transmitted to others. A person can be asymptomatic, in other words, doesn’t show any symptoms of an outbreak, yet can still transmit the virus through shedding.
Can I spread HSV-1 to other parts of my body?
The answer to this question is yes. The herpes virus enters your body through your mucous membranes. It can also enter your body through broken skin. The virus is extremely contagious.
If you have a cold sore or fever blisters around your mouth, it is highly important never to touch them. If you do touch them, and we do tend to instinctively touch a sore, it is essential that you wash your hands straight after.
Is a cold sore and fever blisters contagious?
A cold sore is very contagious, particularly during the prodromal stage. This is the period after incubation before the visible symptoms appear. You probably feel that the area where the cold sore is developing is tender, tingling and possibly itchy.
However, a cold sore is also contagious when the sore itself is visible, or if the sore has ruptured. If you touch the cold sore, and then touch other areas of your body, you can spread it. Touching your genitals, or other areas of your body where the skin is broken can cause it to spread.
HSV-1 can spread to your fingers. This is common in younger children and is known as herpes whitlow. Additionally, if you touch your eyes after touching a cold sore near your mouth, you could spread the virus to your eyes. This is potentially dangerous as it can cause eye infections and vision problems.
What happens when I have HSV-1?
You may have been infected as a child. Once you have the virus, it never leaves your body. The virus stays inactive in a group of nerve cells – called the trigeminal ganglion – in your face.
When something triggers the virus, it becomes active and moves through your nerves to your lips where a cold sore or fever blisters develop. After the outbreak, the virus returns to a dormant state in your body.
HSV-1 is highly contagious. It can spread to other parts of your body if you touch a cold sore and thereafter touch another area of your body.
The best thing to do is not touch a cold sore at any stage. If you do, it is important to thoroughly wash your hands after.
What treatment can I use for a cold sore?
There are numerous treatments that can ease the discomfort of a cold sore. A cold sore caused by HSV-1 is incurable. Some of the more common treatments for cold sores are Acyclovir, Valacyclovir and Famciclovir. These medications are antivirals and are prescribed by a doctor. While they may bring some relief from the pain caused by a cold sore, they will not cure HSV-1.
The use of ice, over the counter pain killers, Aloe Vera gel and Propolis are also recommended as pain relief.
There is also an all natural herpes dietary supplement that can help. HX-2 from HerpesX.com is made from a combination of amino acids, herbs and vitamins. A completely natural supplement, it does not contain any drugs, and is both gluten and GMO free.
It strengthens your body’s immune system and helps your body maximize its natural protein synthesis. This means it decreases the virus’ ability to reproduce. To lessen the severity of an outbreak, take HX-2 from HerpesX.com both before and during an outbreak. It can also be taken as a daily prophylactic. Taken daily, it can help prevent outbreaks altogether.
You can control HSV-1. You can also stop the spread of a cold sore to other parts of your body.