What are the symptoms of a cold sore?

Cold sores is the resulting infection that comes from the herpes simplex virus; Once this occurs, the virus tends to remain in the body for the rest of an individual's life, often making these sores a relatively ordinary appearance. The symptoms of a cold sore usually begin with an itching, burning, or tingling sensation where the sore will eventually appear, such as around the mouth or nostrils. A person could also have a sore throat and swollen glands. Soon, a small fluid-filled blister or cluster of blisters will appear. They will usually dry up and go away in ten days to two weeks.

The initial symptoms, known as the prodrome, include a slight tingling or burning sensation that occurs a day or two before the actual blisters appear. Some people also experience itching or even mild pain. This most often occurs around the lips or the corners of the mouth, but can also appear in the nostrils or inside the mouth, although this is not as common. Putting medication on the area at the first sign of a cold sore can help keep it from getting worse.

Some people experience other symptoms throughout the body. A low-grade fever, swollen glands in the neck, and a sore throat are not uncommon. Some people may find that their mouth feels sore or that they experience some body aches and pains. These symptoms will also usually go away when the actual sores appear.

The final symptoms occur when a blister, or often a group of blisters, appears in the mouth or nose. These blisters will be raised, red, and filled with fluid. After a few days, they will begin to dry out and will soon appear as a slightly reddened mark on the face, which will eventually fade. Usually, a cold sore will not cause a scar.

People who are prone to this problem may get sores repeatedly throughout the year, sometimes three or four times or more. Some events can trigger the virus, such as another illness in the body, a period of high stress, or too much sun exposure. It is certainly possible to transmit the herpes virus to others, so it is important that anyone experiencing symptoms learn ways to prevent its spread.

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