Most people become infected as an infant or small child when kissed or by sharing eating utensils with an adult who has the virus. The virus is most contagious when someone has a cold sore, but can still be passed along by someone who does not. Many people do not even know that they are infected because the virus can "hide out" in the nerve
cells for very long periods of time - for some people it hides out forever and they never get a cold sore. For others, the virus can "wake up" at any time and that's when a cold sore happens. No one knows exactly what causes a cold sore to appear - sometimes stress
, illness, fevers, colds, sunlight, cold weather, menstruation
, certain foods, allergies
, you name it! her strep infection may have caused her cold sore outbreak
. They usually last 7-10 days and are more of an annoyance than a danger unless you have a weakened immune system or contract a bacterial infection on top of the cold sore. There is a possibility of a superinfection of the cold sores with staph or strep bacteria
. If her sores are yellow, crusting and draining, you will want to have her seen by her doctor. She may need a different antibiotic
if this is the case.
There is no cure for cold sores but there are a few treatments for the symptoms:
-over the counter ointments with topical Lidocaine
can be used for pain, but will not shorten the course
-applying ice and taking Acetaminophen
can help with pain relief
-do not pick at it or pop it since that can make it worse
medications such as valacyclovir
are the only treatments known to reduce pain and shorten the course if taken as soon as you know an outbreak is coming. These are prescription medications, so you should discuss these with your doctor.