Herpes simplex virus type 1, or HSV-1 is the virus that is behind the cold sores (which are also known as fever blisters). You can get infected by another person who is already infected, by saliva (through kissing, or by drinking from the same cup) or by skin contact.
Cold sores usually make their appearance as groups of tiny blisters, usually on the lips. 8 out of 10 people have this virus. Many of these people were first infected before they were 10. After you get infected, the virus can remain dormant, i.e. inactive and you can just..live like that. But for other people, there’s another story. For them, the virus can become active from time to time. Multiple times. In these cases, cold sores appear. Colds and fevers can trigger the HSV-1 virus. Stress is also on this list, mental and emotional. Also, dental treatments and sun exposure. Your eyes can also get infected and your genitals, but that’s the HSV-2 domain.
If you have serious illnesses, then HSV-1 can be a dangerous problem.
Let’s See What Triggers Cold Sore Outbreaks
If you got HSV-1, you’d first get fever, nausea, and headaches. You may also encounter painful swelling and open lesions on your lips. Some people even get a sore throat. All of these symptoms usually appear a week after you got infected.
You’ll encounter the cold sores also when the virus gets reactivated – and this can happen at any point in your life, especially after a bad period of stress, or sunlight exposure, or poor nutrition. Also, be careful with dental procedures, as they also represent a trigger.
What are the stages?
The most commonly affected area is the border of the lip, but sometimes they also appear on the inside of the mouth – this usually happens to those people who have a weak immune system or any other illness.
Be careful at itching or burning – these are the first signs of cold sores. After this, the redness and swelling will happen. Then, 48 hours after that, you’ll find some small blisters on your lips. The sores can be painful. After this, they will get covered by a yellow crust. Eventually, they will fall and the sore will heal.
How will I be diagnosed?
It’s better to go to your physician or to your dentist to have a proper diagnose. He will ask you about your medical history and will examine you. If it happens that you have other illnesses, then your doctor may run some tests to be exact with the diagnose.
How long will they last?
The HSV-1 symptoms may last from 7 to 14 days. The crust for the cold sores will make its appearance in about four days, and it will be entirely healed in about ten days.