Cold Sores

Video Transcript:

Here’s another daily tip from your friendly local dermatologist in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

All right cold sores, what are they, and how do you get them, and am I the only one? Okay, so cold sores are actually viruses. It is related to the herpes class of viruses. Now the herpes class of viruses actually contains quite a few viruses, including chicken pox, and mono, and cold sores. It also contains the type of herpes that we associate with sexually transmitted diseases.

Now quite a lot of the population is infected with the cold sore type of herpes virus. Over fifty percent. And a third of those people are infected, but they never have another outbreak in their life. About a third of those people get one to five outbreaks a year, and about a third get more than five outbreaks a year. What causes an outbreak usually is a lot of stress in your life, (stress doesn’t do anything good for you) a recent cold or illness, because your immune system is drained, or sun exposure. So do what you can to limit stress as always. Do what you can to keep yourself healthy so that you’re not getting sick more than you have to, and do what you can to protect yourself from the sun.

Now if you’re in that one third of the population that never gets an outbreak, awesome, you’re lucky. If you’re within that one third of the population that gets between one and five outbreaks a year, we usually give you a medication to suppress it when it happens. So the instant that you feel the cold sore coming on, you know that tingle, and that tingle you know, within a day or so you’re gonna start to see the bump, you take the medication instantly, and the closer you can get to taking the medication as soon as you feel the symptoms, the better your chances are that you won’t have an outbreak at all. So if you’re somebody who gets cold sores, you need to talk to your local dermatologist about having something in your medicine cabinet, so that as soon as you notice the symptoms, you can treat it, and you do not have to live for the next two weeks with the cold sore on your cheek.

Now if you’re one of these people that gets more than five a year, then we usually put you on a daily suppressive regimen so that you don’t break out. Now when you have a breakout, you are contagious. So please, do not do anything that can transmit this virus to the person. You don’t want to infect somebody who’s not infected, and it’s direct skin-on-skin contact, or sharing things like a cup. So when you have the bump, or when you have the tingle, please be careful and protect those around you.

Because Dermatologists treat more than just skin cancer!