Cold Sore Season
It’s cold sore season in Toronto. The cold, dry, winter months in this city, combined with fatigue and flu season create the perfect atmosphere for outbreaks.
While laser cold sore removal has become the popular solution in Toronto, it is still useful to know how to better manage, prevent, and avoid selling cold sores.
The Complete Cold Sore Survival Guide
Cold sores always seem to pop up at the most inopportune times. With an estimated 50-80% of the population already affected by the condition, you are far from alone.
Fortunately, there are effective treatment options which can help you get rid of the unsightly sore before an important meeting, family get-together, or date. The most effective cold sore treatment is offered by cosmetic dentists, but over-the-counter treatments are also available.
Are Cold Sores Contagious?
Yes, cold sores are highly contagious. Cold sores are caused by a strain of herpes (HSV). The virus is most contagious when open sores are present on the lips. However, you can still contract herpes from someone with no visible symptoms through sharing utensils, towels, kissing, or any other contact with materials which may harbour the virus.
How to get rid of cold sores?
You can get rid of cold sores through methods like laser cold sore removal or other over-the-counter cold sore remedies including:
Some cold sore home remedies have been suggested as well, although their efficacy is not proven. This include applying balms to cold sores made with:
The treatments listed above will help get rid of cold sores faster but won’t prevent them from popping up in the future. Once the HSV virus is in your body there is no known way to remove it.
How long do cold sores last?
In most cases, cold sores last 8 to 12 days. Untreated, cold sores may last as long as 4 weeks. See a doctor if your cold sore lasts longer than 2 weeks without showing signs of improvement. Professional treatment can dramatically reduce the time you have to suffer with cold sores.
You can expedite the healing of a cold sore by treating it with with laser cold sore removal treatment or an over-the-counter cream. The sooner you take action after noticing the first symptoms, the better the treatment will be at shortening the length of the cold sore.
How does herpes spread?
Oral herpes commonly spreads through direct or indirect contact. Here are some common examples:
Herpes spreads when the cold sore or something carrying the object comes into contact with another person. Minimizing contact with strangers minimizes your chances of contracting the virus.
If you plan to share eating utensils or kiss someone, you can politely ask if they have the virus beforehand to mitigate the risk of contracting an it.
How can you tell if you have a cold sore?
You can tell you have a cold sore if you display any of the following symptoms appearing in the order listed below:
The symptoms of a cold sore vary depending on how developed it is. The first sign that a cold sore is coming on is a tingling sensation in a section of your lip. You will feel the tingling sensation in the area where the cold sore will appear, and the tingling sensation is often followed by itching. Affected areas will feel tender before any visible symptoms appear. These symptoms will come on about a day before visual symptoms appear on the surface of the lip.
Stages of a cold sore
Blisters follow the tingling sensation approximately one day after the first signs of a cold sore emerge. Blisters break out along the outer lip, are puffy, red, and contain liquid.
In the final stage of the cold sore, the blisters burst and begin oozing liquid. Blisters typically merge and become a single, large uncomfortable open sore. After the pus runs out of the sore and it has had time to heal, it crusts over to form into a single large scab.
Symptoms of cold sores vary between individuals and individual cases. Left untreated, a cold sore takes between 2 and 4 weeks to heal completely to the point when no visible evidence of its presence remains.
A cold sore will clear up on its own, even if untreated. However, visiting a cosmetic dentist in Toronto or getting cold sore removal treatment in Toronto can greatly expedite the time it takes for a cold sore to heal.
What causes cold sores
Cold sores are caused by:
The root cause of cold sores - the herpes virus - only needs to be contracted once for you to be at risk of cold sore breakouts for life. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize your outbreak of cold sores. Generally speaking, staying healthy and well rested will lower your chance of having a herpes outbreak.
How to prevent getting cold sores
You can help prevent getting cold sores by:
All it takes to get a cold sore is to contract the strain of herpes which causes it. Once this strain is in your body, you’re stuck with it forever since there is no known way of removing it. The virus lies dormant in your nerve cells and manifests as a cold sore when your immune system is weakened through stress or illness.
To minimize herpes outbreaks keep yourself healthy. Get plenty of rest, exercise, and eat right every day. Create healthy habits and stick to them.
Your body is most vulnerable to a herpes outbreak when the immune system is weakened fighting off other bacteria or viruses. This is why winter, cold and flu season, becomes Cold Sore season.
Laser Cold Sore Removal Toronto
Contact our Toronto Cosmetic Dentistry Clinic for laser cold sore removal in Toronto. Using our specialized diode laser, we can reduce the time you have to suffer with a cold sore.
Give us a call, or fill out the form below to book an appointment today.
Dr. Sturm builds long-lasting, trusting relationships with her patients. Her warm personality and expertise put even the most anxious patients at ease.Book a Consultation
Get the most out of your office visits and keep your teeth healthy for life with good oral hygiene and regular visits.Book your next checkup
Brighten your smile with Boost. State of the art whitening processes are great for discoloured, stained or aging teeth, and you’ll see dramatic results in as little as an hour! At-home whitening is also available.Learn More
Just let us know the best way to reach you, and we’ll give you a call to set up your appointment.