Signs and Symptoms
1. Tingling, prickling, or itching on the lips or mouth (often just before cold sores appear)
2. Red or fluid-filled, painful blisters, typically on or around the lips or mouth.
3. Fever and swollen neck glands may accompany the first outbreak; after that, cold sores usually don’t produce these symptoms.
What to Do Now
Cold sores usually clear up on their own within seven to ten days. This is not curable. But to get relieve from pain and discomfort:
1. Apply an ice cube to the affected area.
2. Keep a prescription medication such as Cold Sores protecting cream on hand; use when you feel the first signals, before cold sores appear, it can make an attack less severe.
3. Avoid sour, spicy, or acidic foods, which may irritate the sores.
When to Call a Doctor
1. If you develop sores and a fever of 100 degrees or higher and or chills.
2. If your cold sores last longer than two weeks or come back frequently.
3. If you have a cold sore and feel any eye pain or discomfort, or if your vision is impaired. You may have a cold sore-related infection in your eye.
How to Prevent It
1. Get a new toothbrush after you’ve had cold sores.
2. If stress seems to bring on cold sores, find ways to relax: Exercise regularly, or practice yoga or meditation.
3. Avoid kissing someone who has cold sores.
4. Wear a hat and use sunblock on your lips if sun exposure appears to trigger cold sores.