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Cold Sores: Symptoms, Causes
and Treatment

Woman washing her hands A cold sore, or herpes simplex, is an acute virus infection. The sufferer mostly contracts it early in life. The virus remains in the body, and acute attacks are triggered off by exposure to the sun or by a cold. Tiny blisters develop, usually near the lips. These blisters progress to form a crusted, swollen, painful skin infection. The infection usually lasts for about 10 to 14 days, when the sores dry up. The virus however remains dormant and another outbreak of sores may emerge at a later stage, particularly during periods of fever.


  • Application of vaseline and alcohol may help to dry out and soothe the blisters.
  • If recurrences are frequent, consult your doctor.


When suffering from a cold sore, wash your hands frequently and keep them away from your eyes. Should you touch the sores and then rub your eyes you can develop conjunctivitis or inflammation of the cornea.

Source: Self-Mediation Guide, MIMS.

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