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Cold Sores Specialist

Houston Skin Associates

Medical & Cosmetic Dermatology located in Museum District Houston & Pearland, TX

Cold sores can feel uncomfortable or cause embarrassment, but simple solutions are within reach at Houston Skin Associates, located in Museum District,Houston, and Pearland, Texas. Highly trained medical and cosmetic dermatologists offer a variety of treatments to clear up cold sores and reduce your risk of developing new ones. Call the office to learn more or book an appointment online today.

Cold Sores Q & A

What are cold sores?

Cold sores, or fever blisters, are a common viral infection that causes fluid-filled blisters to develop on or near your lips. They often appear in patches, and when they rupture, scabs form that often last for a few days. The sores usually heal within a few weeks, but treatment can minimize them and reduce the risk of recurrence. 

What are the symptoms of cold sores?

Common signs and symptoms of cold sores include:

  • Blisters
  • Sores
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Tingling
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Painful gums
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes

After being exposed to cold sores for the first time, your symptoms may not appear for up to 20 days. Cold sores could develop on or near your lips, nose, cheeks, or on the inside of your mouth. The fluid-filled blisters erupt, ooze, and crust over before they heal.

Recurrences of cold sores usually appear near the same area, but they might be less severe than your initial outbreak.

How do cold sores spread?

Cold sores can spread from person to person through kissing or oral sex. You can also contract oral herpes by sharing razors, lip balm, towels, and eating utensils with an infected person. 

Cold sores are most contagious if you have oozing blisters, but the herpes simplex virus spreads even if you don’t have any fever blisters. There’s no cure, but treatment can minimize the effects of cold sores.

How does my doctor diagnose cold sores?

Your Houston Skin Associates provider diagnoses cold sores after discussing your symptoms, lifestyle, and medical history and examining the sores. They might take a fluid sample from a blister and send it to a lab for analysis.

How are cold sores treated?

Standard treatments for cold sores include:

Home remedies

Things you can do at home for cold sore relief include using over-the-counter topical medicines and protecting your lips from the sun. You might apply a cold damp cloth or warm compress to the affected area to reduce redness, alleviate discomfort, and speed up healing.

Medications

The Houston Skin Associates team offers prescription antiviral medicines that help speed up the healing of cold sores; you might swallow pills or apply creams to affected areas. Some antiviral medications are available via injection. Your provider personalizes each treatment to give you the best outcome.

If you struggle with cold sores, a variety of treatments are available at Houston Skin Associates. Call the office to schedule an appointment or book one online today.