The severest cold sore symptoms occur during the first or “primary” infection from the herpes simplex virus.
In addition, people suffering from immune deficiencies or diseases such as HIV, AIDS, leukemia and diabetes, are prone to ongoing severe attacks.
This class of sufferer would be well advised to undergo daily antiviral therapy.
The initial signs of HSV infection are:
A general feeling of malaise.
A sore throat.
Swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
Drooling, in small children.
Studies show that about 36% of people infected with the virus will be asymptomatic. This means that they will never suffer from a cold sore outbreak or show any cold sore symptoms.
However asymptomatic people can still pass the virus onto others via viral shedding.
Cold sores may or may not occur in others after the primary infection has run its course.
Cold Sore Stages
Stage 1: Prodromal symptoms. 6 to 48 hours before a cold sore appears, many people experience an unpleasant tingling, itching or numb sensation in the site of an imminent outbreak. This is the ideal time to
Stage 2: Tiny red or purple blisters will appear on the lips, edge of the mouth, nostril or surrounding areas. These can be painful to touch. In addition, lymph nodes in the neck may swell, followed by ‘flu-like symptoms and a headache.
Stage 3: Blisters tend to cluster, forming one or two large fluid filled sacs.
Stage 4: Blisters burst open and ooze a clear fluid containing millions of new viruses. An open sore appears. This is the peak of the cold sore contagious phase.
Do not touch the sore – you may infect your fingers or other parts of the body. Keep clean, apply Dynamiclear and cover with a layer of Lysine ointment. Become a compulsive hand washer.
Stage 5: A few days pass and the ulcers crust over.
Stage 6: Scab lasts for up to two weeks and then flakes off, leaving a red patch without forming a scar. Redness fades after a week to 10 days.
Stage 7: Area becomes less contagious, however, saliva still retains herpes simplex viruses that can be passed on via kissing or shared eating utensils.
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