By Bjarne Lühr Hansen PhD, MD and Philipp Skafte-Holm MD, Mentor Institute
Cold sore is a contagious illness caused by a viral inflammation (Herpes simplex). The illness appears as stinging blisters and painful wounds in the mouth and on the lips. The illness has a tendency to return again and again – often simultaneous with a severe common cold. Call the doctor immediately, if the cold sores spread to the nose or the eyes.
Cold sore is a contagious illness caused by a viral inflammation (Herpes simplex). Often, the illness starts with redness and an unpleasant prickly sensation in the skin where the blisters appear later. After a few days, small blisters filled with fluid develop which quickly bursts and become sores. The sores are covered by a crust that typically falls off after 8 to 10 days. The blisters and the sores are placed on the lips and inside the mouth.
The worst part about cold sores is that they have a tendency to return again and again. When you have had your first outbreak of cold sores, there is always a risk that they might return. Typically, they return in connection with a common cold (hence the name cold sores) or another infection. Also sunlight can make the sores return. One in every 5 people has repeated outbreaks of cold sores throughout their lives.
All children can become infected with the illness but most children have their first outbreak of cold sores, when they are 3 to 5 years old. It is expected that 80% of all adults have had cold sores, at some point in their life.
With the smallest children (1 to 3 years), the illness appears as an inflammation of the oral cavity. Inside the mouth, on the inside of the cheeks and gums, the mucous membrane appears red and covered with blisters. It is common that the child, at the same time, has a light fever.