At A Farhadian Dental Group, Inc we are proud to offer laser treatment for patients affected by cold sores.
What Are Cold Sores?
A cold sore is a small blister or group of blisters that commonly develop on the lip or around the mouth area and are caused by the herpes simplex virus or HSV. Cold sores are also known as fever blisters or herpes simplex labialis. The virus enters the body through a break in the skin in or around the mouth.
Cold sores can be spread through touch or if someone comes in contact with the infected person’s saliva through sharing eating utensils, drinks, razors, or kissing.
Symptoms may include pain when swallowing, fever, sore throat, headache, nausea, or a burning, itching, or tingling sensation where the cold sore will develop.
As the cold sores begin to develop, the patient may notice a painful red bump that can develop into several small blisters. Within days, these blisters will burst and produce a discharge that eventually dries and crusts over and forms a scab. These blisters will disappear after several days or a few weeks.
In some cases, cold sores can be extremely painful.
Once a person contracts HSV, they will have it for life, even if symptoms go away and the cold sores are treated. The virus will remain dormant inside the patient’s body until triggered again. Common triggers include stress, fatigue, illness, injury, and hormonal changes.
How Are Cold Sores Treated?
Antiviral medication is used to treat cold sores and the virus that causes them.
Prescription medication by your doctor or dermatologist, or over-the-counter medication for cold sores can help to resolve the current infection. Antivirals may be taken as an oral medication or as a topical treatment. When applying topical ointments to your cold sores, use a cotton swab as your fingers can spread bacteria or spread the virus to other parts of the body.
These medications can lessen pain, uncomfortable symptoms, and help to reduce the duration of the infection.
Another treatment option that we offer in-office is laser therapy.
Laser therapy is a fast and effective treatment that can remove any discomfort immediately and heal at a much faster rate. If caught before the lesion appears, it can stop the progression and prevent sores.
Treatment only takes a few minutes and can be done without anesthesia allowing patients to return to work and normal activities right after treatment.
It is important to note that though there is no cure for cold sores or the herpes simplex virus. Once HSV is contracted, it never leaves the body even if the patient never again has a flare-up of cold sores. The virus will remain dormant within the body until triggered. Some patients will experience cold sores only once, others may experience them from time to time, and some may experience cold sores throughout their life.
Laser therapy may help to reduce the number of cold sores you get, decrease the severity, and lengthen the time between flare-ups. In some cases, cold sores may not appear in the same location again following treatment.
For more information on cold sores and your treatment option or to schedule an appointment, contact our office today at (747) 300-9876.