Cold Sore

Donald B. Feinsod, MD, PC

Dermatologist located in Nassau County, Hewlett, NY

More than 50% of Americans aged 14-49 currently have the herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores, meaning it’s a very common problem. But, knowing they’re common doesn’t make them any less embarrassing or uncomfortable. At the office of dermatologist Donald B. Feinsod, MD, PC, in Hewlett, New York, you can get the help needed to clear your cold sore quickly and easily. Book your appointment online or by phone today.

Cold Sore

What are the symptoms of a cold sore?

Symptoms can vary depending on whether you just caught the herpes simplex virus for the first time, or whether it's a recurrence of the virus that's already in your body. It's common to catch the virus as a child. 

Signs of a recently caught herpes simplex virus can include flu-like symptoms like sore throat, fever, and body pains. Sores can appear inside or outside the mouth, too. Usually, these initial symptoms last for up to two weeks and then go away.

If you already have the herpes simplex virus in your body, certain things like stress, exhaustion, or hormone changes might trigger new cold sores. A few days before a cold sore appears,  you might notice mouth itching, burning, or stinging. Once the cold sore develops, you'll see small fluid-filled bumps that eventually rupture and grow crusty.

What causes cold sores?

Cold sores are triggered by type 1 herpes simplex virus. Herpes simplex is passed through direct skin-to-skin contact, sharing eating utensils, or by touching a cold sore on someone else and then touching your mouth.

How are cold sores treated?

It’s important to get cold sore treatment when you’re dealing with recurring sores, when you’re in serious pain, or if you have a condition like HIV that weakens your immune system. Dr. Feinsod evaluates your cold sore and reviews your symptoms to create an effective plan for symptom relief. 

You might need antiviral medication if you have recurring cold sores. Dr. Feinsod may also prescribe a topical pain reliever if you need it. As you heal, it’s vital that you protect your lips and skin from the sun. Dr. Feinsod may recommend special skin care products, including prescription grade sunscreen, to shield you from damaging rays.

Can I prevent cold sores?

There are several things you can do that may help, including: 

  • Track your cold sore triggers and avoid them
  • Never share utensils, drinking glasses, or other objects 
  • Avoid physical contact with anyone who has a cold sore
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Avoid touching your mouth unless your hands are clean

Although you might have the herpes simplex virus in your body, you don’t have to deal with constant cold sores if you use smart prevention tips and treat any new cold sores as soon as they appear. 

For fast cold sore relief, book online or by calling the office of Donald B. Feinsod, MD, PC today.