Video:Learn About Fever Blisters and Cold Soreswith Dr. Debra Jaliman
Fever blisters and cold sores are actually the same thing. This video will give you an overview of cold sores, or fever blisters.See Transcript
Transcript:Learn About Fever Blisters and Cold Sores
Hi, this is Dr. Debra Jaliman, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City and author of "Skin Rules," here to talk about fever blisters and cold sores for About.com.
Causes for Cold Sores or Fever Blisters
Cold sores are herpes simplex virus that's invaded the skin, and it appears as blisters on the lips. Cold sores and fever blisters are the same thing. They are very contagious, so you want to make certain if you have them not to kiss anybody, not to share a lipstick and not to share a cup. It's important to wear a sunscreen on your lips because they are triggered by the sun. They can be triggered by a cold, by cold weather and by stress.
Treating Cold Sores or Fever Blisters
There are medications that can effectively treat cold sores and fever blisters. They are antivirals. We use over-the-counter antivirals, prescription antivirals that are both topical and antivirals by mouth. Many people get fever blisters and cold sores so often that they have to take antivirals by mouth every single day of their lives to prevent them. It also depends on your immune system. Some people have very weak immunity to these cold sores and fever blisters, and they find that they get it when they're under a lot of stress.
Preventing Cold Sores or Fever Blisters
So, things that you can do to prevent it is make certain that you wear an SPF 30 every single day both on your lips and the skin surrounding the lip area so that the virus that causes the fever blister and cold sore doesn't get reactivated. Once you have a cold sore or fever blister, you'll have it the rest of your life, and so you don't want it to be reactivated either by stress, by a cold, by the flu, by cold weather, by very hot weather, by emotional stress or by sun exposure.
If you need any other information about fever blisters or cold sores, please go to About.com.