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A 45-year-old member asked:

for what length of time do cold sores usually last and is there anything i can do?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Tx: Usually 7 to 10 days without treatment. Melissa officinalis or lemon balm (cream) expedites healing of cold sores. It can reduce healing time by half. Studies also show that regular use can help v recurrences. Brief supplementation with lysine 1, 000mg orally three times a day at the onset, can also hasten healing. Your physician can prescribe oral valtrex (valacyclovir).
Dr. Douglas Tavenner, jr.
Cosmetic Dentistry 50 years experience
Time & Comfort: Comfortable - anything that makes you comfortable. It takes about 2 weeks to go away no matter what you seem to do. However check with your pharmacy for a few items that may make you more comfortable - remember that they generally do not shorten the 2 week time.
Dr. Darrell Herrington
Family Medicine 34 years experience
Treat early.: At the first sign of pressure or tingling, an antiviral such as Zovirax or Valtrex (valacyclovir) may successfully abort the development of the lesion and will certainly shorten its course. The same can be said for heat. I was involved in a clinical study that proved the effectiveness and safety of heat application, 3-6 degrees above body temperature. You can purchase a device online for this purpose.

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A 29-year-old member asked:

What is the cause of cold sores?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Herpes virus, return: Cold sores on the lips or near the lips, are usually caused by recurrent oral herpes virus. They start as a slightly raised reddish area, then form a cluster of tiny blisters, which break open soon, leaving a sore (ulcer) to heal up over a week. Sores appear more often when one is under stress or is ill from another illness. Younger babies with herpes should see a doctor when a sore appears.
Prattville, AL
A 40-year-old female asked:

What causes cold sores?

12 doctor answers31 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Miller
Dr. David Miller answered
Family Medicine 10 years experience
Herpes virus: Cold sores are typically caused by the type i herpes virus. It is very common and distinct from genital herpes, which is typically caused by the type ii herpes virus, although there is some overlap between the two.
Dr. David Miller
Dr. David Miller commented
Family Medicine 10 years experience
Provided original answer
It's such a common th
Feb 29, 2012
A female asked:

Why causes multiple cold sores at once?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Morris Westfried
Dermatology 46 years experience
Herpes, low immunity: Oral antivirals will help, may need maintenance to control problem.
A 49-year-old female asked:

What can cause consrant cold sores?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Fisher
Dermatology 32 years experience
Cold Sores: Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (hsv). There are two types of herpes simplex virus: hsv-1 and hsv-2. Both virus types can cause sores around the mouth (herpes labialis) and on the genitals (genital herpes). Treatment can be with suppressive doses of prescription valtrex, (valacyclovir) 500mg to 1000mg a day.
A 22-year-old male asked about a 22-year-old female:

What types of illness can cause cold sores?

1 doctor answer4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Hunter Handsfield
Infectious Disease 53 years experience
Oral herpes: Recurrent oral herpes (cold sores, also called fever blisters) is reactivation of infection with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1). As the names themselves imply, other infections (colds, influenza, anything that causes fever) can trigger outbreaks. Sunburn also is a common trigger, prevented by sun block cream. However, most outbreaks have no obvious trigger.

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