Cold sores are usually found on the outer lip. Cold sores can be caused by trauma, sunburn, stress, illness, cold weather, and the like. Most people don’t realize that cold sores are actually a highly contagious herpes simplex virus infection (usually HSV-1, or oral herpes) on the lips. Although most people are exposed to the herpes virus, only a small percentage suffer from recurrent outbreaks.
Commonly, the first sign of an outbreak is a skin irritation or rash. The area then blisters, often oozing a transparent liquid, then becomes crusty. Cold sores are easily transmitted. Here are some simple ways to avoid contagion:
- Do not kiss someone with an active lesion
- Do not share razors
- Do not share towels
- Do not share cups or glasses
It is important to treat this condition with caution, as it can be transmitted to the eyes and the genitalia. When this occurs these conditions are much more difficult to treat and can have long term effects.
The most effective way to treat the Herpes virus is with the use of a diode laser. The laser light kills the virus. Laser treatments can give immediate pain relief and the lesion will heal in 24-72 hours. Since the laser eradicates the cause there will never be another outbreak in that specific area. The diode laser promotes healing and lessens the chance of scarring.