Cold Sores Have You Shivered?

Cold sores can be painful and embarrassing, but where do these pesky things come from and how can you get rid of these irksome ailments?

What Are Cold Sores?

Cold sores, also known as fever blisters or herpetic lesions, are a very common viral infection. According to the Cleveland Clinic, more than half of the people in the United States have been infected with the virus that causes cold sores. Of the people that have the virus, about 20-40 percent of them will go on to develop cold sores. Just because they are common does not make them any less painful or troublesome.

Cold sores spread from person to person by intimate or close contact. They are typically caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1. Outbreaks of this virus are often triggered by exposure to hot sun, cold wind, a cold, a weak immune system, changes in hormonal levels, and even stress. It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact reason an outbreak begins but once it commences, you can expect several days to weeks of healing ahead.

How Long Do They Last?

Cold sores typically begin with a tingling, burning, or itching sensation on or around the lips, beginning about 12-24 hours before the cold sore develops. Next, the area erupts from the skin and the area becomes red, swollen, and painful as the blisters form. Over the succeeding two to three days, the “weeping phase” causes the blisters to rupture and ooze. Around four to five days after the cold sore appears, it crusts and scabs over. Do not be alarmed if they crack and bleed as it heals. From start to finish, you can expect a cold sore to take one to two weeks to completely heal.


While there is no cure for these irritations, there are treatments that can significantly lower the amount of time it takes to heal from cold sores. With ointments or creams, you can expect a recovery time of around three to four days. With in-office lasers, recovery from cold sores only takes two days! Cold sore laser treatment at Capital Dental in Lincoln, NE is a low-cost way to receive high-end results. By drastically cutting the length of recovery time, this option may be perfect for those who are about to walk down the aisle or even hit the town with the confidence of a clear smile.