There have been several threads on this MB and cold sores, if you care to search. In every one of them, I’ve recommended Curasore [sup] tm [/sup],which costs a couple of bucks for a tube. (It’s a salve.) Much cheaper than acyclovir and you don’t need a prescription. I’ve tried both and have not noticed any difference in efficacy. They are both very good and will eliminate your “cold sores” in a very short time. (Curasore [sup]tm [/sup]contains ether.
From the OP, it seems as if you just now have got your first infection as an adult, which has me thinking it isn’t your regular cold sores or fever blisters. If it is just those though, “Campho-Phenique” is a great over the counter product.
I got my first infection as an adult. Last October, I felt an odd little blister-like bump on my upper lip. By the next morning, it got a bit blistery (DON’T pop them–it only makes things worse and helps spread the virus). Eventually my whole lip ballooned up. Based on that, some lymph node swelling in my neck, and the fact that I never recall having a cold sore before, my doctor hypothesized that it was my first infection.
I was put on acyclovir, and bought some Abreva. I haven’t had another full-blown outbreak since (crosses fingers), though there were a couple times where I thought my lip felt tingly and went back on acyclovir and Abreva.
Don’t feel too gross about it–it’s estimated that ~20% of adults are infected, most in childhood. The virus can be transmitted in the very early stages of an outbreak, before there’s even a visible sore. Simplex I was primarily associated with oral herpes, and simplex II with genital herpes. But due to increasing patterns of unprotected oral sex, both can appear in either location. Doctors can type it to tell you which kind you have.
I had sores on my lips after having a alpha-hydroxy chemical peel. I had problems for weeks after that. I can’t even use cleansers or masks with alpha-hydroxy because when I rinse it off, the water runs over my lips and wrecks them.
Lymph node swelling in the neck! Wow! I guess I am glad I got it as a kid. My first outbreak when I was about 6. I have had outbreaks 3 weeks apart. I have gone a year without one. I never looked at the studies, but I can concur that sunlight, stress, or just chapped lips can cause an outbreak.
Don’t pop them. It will really hurt. They will break on their own. Then the real pain begans, but at least it is in the healing phase.
An above poster recommended Campho-Phenique. I find it to be just a little too potent, it will burn upon application. Blistex works for me. It has camhor and phenol, but it is in a soothing, moisterizing cream.
There are good over-the-counter medicines. They will clear it up a couple of days quicker than the old remedies.
I remember back in the 80’s some kid in a small town got fever blisters. Some moron hick discovered it was a form of herpes, got the town in a stir and tried to make the kid wear a protective suit to school.
Sun exposure is a very common stress inducing herpes sores. I had a friend who got them around the eyes after sun exposure.
I repeat. No OTC has ever worked for me (and I’ve tried them all) except Curasore. Hydrocortisone did work, but then I found out it was contraindicated due to its negative effect on the body’s own immune system. Even that did not work as well as Curasore. You can buy hydrocortisone (which is an anti-inflammatory) OTC as long as the percentage is 1% or less, as cortisone is a very powerful anti-inflammatory.
I’ve had them since childhood. I have a presciption for Denavir which has worked great. At the first sign you apply, and then every two hours after that. If you can get the first application on quick enough (within an hour of the first small blister) the cold sore will never develop any further.
I have dated quite a few nurses, and they would have a small vial of medicine. This medicine was intended to be used internally, but they would use a syringe to apply a drop on the spot that tingled. I tried it once and it worked. Don’t know the name. Sorry
Hydrocortizone is great for cold sores. As it’s not something you will be applying on a regular basis, using a dab of it for the occasional coldsore will probably not have a detrimental effect on your immune system. NOTE: Do NOT use hydrocortizone on children without a doctor’s approval. It is a very powerful medication.
I think I had a bit of a brain fart and saw the “between the ages of 1 and 5” bit and reinterpreted it as 1 in 5.
Road Rash: it wasn’t very fun. I hated the swollen upper lip more–it looked like someone had punched me in the face. What was worse was that my boyfriend was coming in from out of town that weekend, so I couldn’t kiss him at all.