Author: Phillip Skinner
Â Why Do We Suffer From Cold Sores?
The medical term for the cold sore is Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1). The Herpes Simplex virus has two types.
Type 2 is commonly known as genital herpes and primarily affects the area of the body below the waistline. Type 1, or the cold sore, normally affects the area of the body above the waistline.
The HSV-1 (cold sore) virus is usually transmitted through young children from family members, but can also occur later in life. The HSV-1 virus is very contagious and can be transmitted even when it is dormant, not active as a cold sore.
When active, the cold sore will be transmitted through indirect contact such as when drinking from the same glass, eating with the same utensils and sharing one toothbrush or through direct contact, like when kissing and touching.
I recall how extremely careful my siblings and I had to be whenever one of us had a cold sore. When any one of us experienced an outbreak, somehow the virus was able to spread to the rest of us causing another outbreak despite of our being extra careful.
I also had an embarrassing experience from visiting with relatives in Peru, South America.
There, it is traditional and customary to celebrate an event by drinking in a group and sharing one glass that is passed from person to person. No one can be left out of this circle and you can imagine what happened when one day I had a cold sore lesion and was part of a celebration.
At that point in my life, I had no clue about the cold soreâ€™s method of transmission and I shared the same glass with a group of friends.
To my amazement the next day, one friend that was part of the circle and was drinking with the same glass, had a cold sore.
He made a comment that he had no clue what was on his lip and at the time, I did not realize what must have transpired during that celebration.
Now it makes me realize the power of the virus and its ability to spread. I had witnessed transmission through indirect contact and the ability of the virus to break out and create a lesion overnight in a new body.
We must realize that all too often within families and sometimes among friends, we feel so comfortable about sharing that we compromise our hygiene. Thankfully, the HSV-1 virus is generally not life threatening, unless perhaps your immune system is compromised due to other ailments.
Because the virus transmits so easily, a large number of the worldâ€™s population both carry HSV-1 and its antibodies. The antibodies are the bodyâ€™s natural form of defense created when it comes in contact with a virus. However, the antibodies are not always successful at preventing the outbreaks.
As with all aspects of the human anatomy, every person is different and will experience different recurrent frequencies of cold sore outbreaks. Much of what affects the frequency will depend on your overall health and the ability of your immune system to fend off the virus outbreaks.
According to Western Medicine, there is no cure for HSV-1. Through their eyes, it is a condition that we must learn to manage. We hear it over and over again, that the virus is still being researched and has been unsuccessfully cured. The treatments that exist today are in the form of antiviral medications as well as topical creams used to diminish severity of outbreaks and cold sore lesions.
Once the cold sore has created a lesion, it becomes very difficult to shorten the length of the outbreak phase. The sore goes through a cycle of 6 phases, each very unique in the outbreak and healing process.
Prodrome: This is the phase of warning symptoms that usually lasts several hours. The symptoms include warmth, tingling and itching prior to the visual outbreak.
Inflammation: The virus and antibodies arrive at the site during this phase. The skin starts swelling and becomes red before the visual outbreak.
Vesicular: Tiny blisters and red bumps appear from one or several vesicles, usually at the borders of the lip.
Ulcers: These are actual sores that form often accompanied by pain and includes blisters that leak fluid.
Crusts: The sores dry and form scabs to indicate healing. The virus diminishes and the wounds begin to heal.
Healing: The cycle is complete within 9-12 days (based on the average cold sore sufferer). New skin begins forming and the virus replication is complete. The virus retreats and remains dormant until the next onset.
Each personâ€™s cycle days will vary slightly. During the next sections of the book, you will learn how to attack the herpes simplex virus type 1 from the inside out. It is the key to a long life of being completely cold sore free.
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