Doctor insights on:
Antivirals For Cold Sores
Can someone who gets frequent cold sores get a prescription to help prevent outbreaks? Like an antiviral of some kind?
Can be prevented: Cold sores on the lips or near the lips, are usually caused by oral herpes virus. Sores appear more often when a person is under stress or is sick from another illness. For older children and adults who get sores repeatedly, a doctor may prescribe an antiviral (acyclovir, Valtrex, etc...) to prevent future outbreaks, and/or to start treating them at the moment a lip area starts to tingle. ...Read more
I get at least one cold sore outbreak monthly. They typically run 14-20 days. 5 sores right now. Why is it so hard to get an oral antiviral rx?
Talk to your doc..: A typical sore outbreak lasts 10-14 days w/o treatment. If you start medication at the very early onset (some feels/knows before it comes to the skin) it may not even come through the skin, but unfortunately it often does come out despite treatment and may crust over in 3-5 days rather than 10-14 days w/o treatment. Since u have frequent attacks, consult doc for suppressive therapy. Good luck. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Virus reactivation: Cold sores are caused by reactivation of a latent ("sleeping") virus in the nerves that supply sensation to the inside of the mouth. This is a "herpes" virus, but is most often not the same virus as the one that causes genital herpes. After contracting the virus from someone else's oral cavity, the virus can be reactivated by various triggers, including a common cold or other stressors. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Herpes simplex: Real cold sores, which usually occur on the edge of the lips, are caused by herpes simplex virus. This is contagious by touch, and that is touching anywhere. So if you have active cold sores, you need to practice good handwashing anytime you might have touched the sore. Unfortunately, you can also spread them when you don't even have an active sore, in your saliva. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
A lip ulceration: "cold sores" are a laymen's term for herpes labialis. This is a viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1. An alternative name for the condition is a "fever blister". It is often painful, but not always, may become crusty and is contagious. The condition usually resolves within two weeks but may reside as a life-long virus. Prompt topical and oral treatment may prevent eruption. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
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