Did you know that up to 80% of the adults carry the herpes virus latently by age 30 and 40% of carriers in the US are under the age 20. The herpes simplex virus type I or more commonly known as “cold sore/fever blister” is easily spread and highly contagious with direct contact of the herpetic lesion. It lies dormant in the nerve ganglia until triggered. Various triggers and stressors can bring them out such as anxiety, UV light, infection (eg. Common cold), menstruation and dental treatment.
It is imperative that you keep the area adjacent to the lesion clean by using mild antibacterial soap and water and then dabbing the area dry. Always make sure you wash your hands well after touching the lesion so you do not transmit the virus to your eyes or to others. The use of SPF15 on your lips can help reduce 1 trigger, however if you do have an outbreak there are OTC products that can help ease the pain and the duration. The approximate healing time is 14-21 days on 1st occurrence and 7-10 days on recurrences.