The one that is free of fever, that throw the first stone. Treating cold sores, technically known as herpes simplex, is a popular classic since it is estimated that 90% of people have the latent virus. A diamond is forever and a cold sore, almost too. But of course, the comparisons are odious.
In addition to Tetris and Monkey Island, if there is a video game that I have spent hours in my life it has been the Lemmings (well, and Mario Bros too, I will not deny now). Lemmings were bugs that swarmed en masse that you had to transport from one place to another. They could sting, build ladders, parachute to, or even destroy themselves with a bomb.
When herpes simplex colonizes the lips, it is as if a bundle of Lemmings colonized the place. They are dedicated to chopping and building in their own ground zero. His favorite construction is a kind of blister-shaped volcano that then explodes expanding more Lemmings around the place. It has all the excitement in the world.
PHASES OF SIMPLE HERPES
- Tingling, swelling and redness:The Lemmings have just appeared on the scene and take out the pick and shovel. We notice discomfort, itching and burning (these injuries are also called fever). This is the time to attack them.
- Volcano:The lemmings finish off the job. In approximately three days they have built a fluid filled ampoule (or several grouped ampoules). Your mission is over.
- Explosion of the volcano:The blister or blisters break and ooze. It is the moment in which the injury has the sexiest aspect, being also very contagious.
- Scab formation and scarring: Over the course of a few days, the open volcano ends up closing and the wound healing. Game over.
TREATMENT OF LIP HERPES
The fever ends up disappearing (whether they are treated or not). However, they are bothersome, and any measure that contributes to shortening the duration of the process or relieving its symptoms is advisable.
The treatment of cold sores is somewhat similar to the option that had to block the Lemmings. You could leave one paralyzed, blocking the way for others, but sooner or later it lost its power to be paralyzed and swarmed happily again, leaving the rest to free will.
Who has never had the classic two gram blue tube from Zovirax at home? Although the efficacy of topical antivirals is questioned, 5% acyclovir ( zovicrem , viruderm ) may be useful during the first 72 hours to curb herpes simplex. Once the volcano has exploded little can be done. In addition, as we mentioned, herpes simplex remains latent. Putting acyclovir is like hitting the bad guy in the movie with a skillet . You leave him groggy for a while, but the bad guy always revives and comes back for you. Now, while you hit the skillet, you rest for a while.
Something that is often unknown is that this type of topical antivirals must be applied five times a day . That is, the skillet must be given at breakfast, mid-morning, lunch, snack and dinner.
The first, as almost always, were the patches of Compeed Calenturas with hydrocolloid. Then all the others ( Hartmann , Hansaplast , Zoviprotect ) came with more competitive prices. The patches don’t smack herpes simplex but rather would be that police intervention that cordons off the area so the lemmings don’t move .
Cold sore patches do not attack the virus but help control symptoms (itching, burning, pain), promote healing thanks to the hydrocolloid and can reduce infection.
In the line of the police cordon of the patches for fever we have liquid dressings like the one from Urgo . The difference is that you have to repeat the applications several times a day (up to four times in the volcano phase and twice in the healing phase). They make a movie about injuries.
Once the volcano has exploded, we must collaborate in the reconstruction work. To promote healing, instead of continuing to use the antiviral, it may be more useful to use repairers such as Letibalm , Neutrogena repair balm or Repavar with rosehip.
If the pain is excruciating, you can turn to acetaminophen or ibuprofen .
IS THERE ANYTHING FOR LIP HERPES IN CHILDREN AND PREGNANT WOMEN?
I like to always include some recommendation for the poor and helpless pregnant women , who usually have few alternatives to alleviate the symptoms of what happens to them. Reva Oralherp is a gel that also works by forming a film around the lesion and can be used in pregnant women and children over the age of three.
CAN SIMPLE HERPES BE PREVENTED?
Herpes simplex can be reactivated by both cold and ultraviolet rays. Therefore, a useful measure for prevention is to keep the lips in a perfect state of review using a lip balm, preferably with sun protection. As much as we love watermelon-flavored petrolatums, if we are prone to cold sores we should use cocoas with a protection factor (SPF 20 or 30, we do not need to buy those to go skiing). There are cocoas of all kinds and conditions, but in this case, cheap is expensive. Some advisable are those of Isdin , Neutrogena.
In any case, the best way to prevent herpes simplex is to avoid direct infection.
WHEN ARE THE HEATS REACTIVATED?
As we said, after the skillet the bad guys of the film revive. There are circumstances that can awaken herpes simplex from its lethargy:
– The rule : the rule as the origin of diseases is a very popular myth, but in this case, hormonal changes can trigger an outbreak.
– Tiredness, stress : before exhaustion and the drop in defenses, herpes takes advantage and becomes strong.
– Flu : likewise, a skinny dog is all fleas, with the immune system touched by the flu, it is common for fever to appear.
– Cold and sun : both chapped lips and ultraviolet rays aggressions can favor the reactivation of cold sores. Using balms and sunscreen is more than convenient.
The Apothecary’s advice
Prevention, prevention and prevention. Avoid direct contact (outside kisses, not even the most chaste kisses) and do not share glasses, cutlery or soda cans. Neither towels nor pillows.
I wish we could have the pump tool with which we got rid of the Lemmings when we felt like it (seeing them explode was great) but we can’t eradicate these bugs and the treatment of cold sores, basically, is just a simple patch. Sometimes almost literally.
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