Archive for Thursday, February 15, 2007

Coping with cold sores

February 15, 2007

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If you've ever had a cold sore, you know it can be uncomfortable or even somewhat embarrassing. But cold sores are a relatively common condition -caused by the herpes simplex virus - and they're contagious. Cold sores are sometimes mistaken for canker sores, which are ulcers that occur inside the mouth and are not contagious.

While cold sores cannot be cured or prevented, there are steps you can take to guard against them, and reduce the chance of spreading them to other people.

¢ A cold sore virus can spread from moist secretions in blisters. Avoid kissing and skin contact with people with blisters.

¢ Avoid sharing items, such as utensils and towels, which can spread a present virus.

¢ Always wash hands carefully before touching another person when you have a cold sore.

¢ Be careful when touching other parts of your body. Eyes and the genital area may be particularly susceptible to the spread of the virus.

¢ Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. It could trigger cold sores.

¢ Apply sunblock to your lips and face to help prevent cold sores during both the winter and summer.

Source: Mayo Clinic

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