about Cold Sores
A cold sore is a blister on the lips near the mouth. The blisters appear swollen, inflamed, and red, and they may feel tender. Other names include fever blister, oral herpes, mouth herpes, or herpes simplex labialis. The lesions may appear on their own or in tiny groups, and when they split, a clear fluid leaks out and then the blister scabs over. Cold sores happen because of the herpes simplex virus, also called HSV, and may appear near the mouth and the genital region. In the United States, over 50% of individuals have oral herpes, usually because of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). A closely related herpes simplex virus, HSV-2, causes most instances of genital herpes. But HSV-1 or HSV-2 can cause a cold sore in the mouth or genital region. Unfortunately, this problem is highly infectious and easily transmitted when someone touches the affected area. Dr. Catherine Papasakelariou diagnoses cold sores and treats them at her practice, Houston Premier Dermatology. She will treat the area and ensure they clear up fast and efficiently.
"Excellent care doesn’t come close to doing justice to the experience I have every time I visit Houston Premier Dermatology. The staff are all wonderful! Everyone is so kind and friendly. I recently had trouble with my pharmacy failing to refill my prescription, and they went above and beyond to fix the pharmacy’s mistake. Dr. P is always delightful to speak with, and she carefully listens to all my concerns with the greatest sensitivity. Houston Premier Dermatology is the best dermatology clinic in town."- S.S. / Google / Apr 27, 2021
"I don't even know where to start, Dr P is a blessing, she's amazing. Her attitude is everything and she's gorgeous. I was so embarrassed of my condition, she made feel at ease and gave me some nice words of encouragement and reassured me that it will be fixed and I couldn't help than break down, because she was so real. I recommend her to everyone. Best dermatologist in Houston, periodt!!!!"- M.B. / Google / Apr 22, 2021
"I have been coming to Dr. P for a year and she is excellent. The office staff are wonderful. I highly recommend her."- A.D. / Google / Apr 21, 2021
"Dr. P is great at listening to the patients issues when it comes to the issues pertaining to the patients skin. Dr. P was great at giving me a few suggestions when it came to my skins personal needs. Nice office setup as well. Knowledgeable Doctor when it comes to hormonal & skincare needs. I’d definitely recommend her."- U.G. / Google / Apr 20, 2021
"Dr. P is very knowledgeable. I like how she provides education on the diagnosis and also provides treatment options available for the condition. She comes off like a really good supportive friend. I initially felt uncomfortable about my skin concerns and she was able to assure me how normal of a thing which I am being treated for. I highly recommend her! My only regret is that I didn’t see her sooner!"- J.M. / Google / Apr 15, 2021
Cold Sore Causes
It's possible that some people who have the herpes virus might not ever get a cold sore. However, the virus that causes the cold sores is chronic and not curable so once you have the infected virus, it remains in your system for the remainder of your life. Some causes of cold sore outbreaks include:
- Increased sun exposure
- Decreased sleep
- Shared lipsticks, straws, toothbrushes, razors, etc., and practicing poor hygiene
Those diagnosed with herpes should communicate to their partners that they have the virus so your partner can prepare. Kissing and saliva exchange is one of the most common ways to transmit the condition.
The typical symptom of a cold sore is a tingling, itching, or burning sensation before the appearance of the lesion. The classic sign of a cold sore is a collection of blisters on a foundation of reddish skin. Normally, the blisters appear around the sides of the lips and sometimes under the nose or on the cheeks. The blisters look like droplets of water filled with liquid and burst after a few days. After bursting, the blisters crust over, leaving a scab. Based on the severity of the outbreak, the blisters dry up quickly and leave a scab that lasts anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks.
Typically within a few days, cold sores heal on their own. But if they appear obvious on the lip or near the mouth area, patients may feel embarrassed and also uncomfortable. Houston Premier Dermatology can help accelerate the healing process by offering ointments, antibiotics, and skin creams. Treatment by a professional can help expedite the recovery process, but often, it simply takes some time. Dr. Papasakelariou offers numerous over-the-counter ointments that effectively work. If you frequently suffer from cold sores, we'll discuss treatment options according to outbreak frequency and severity.
Plan Your Procedure
Treat Cold Sores
Dealing with a cold sore is not enjoyable. At Houston Premier Dermatology in Houston, TX, we understand you want it taken care of fast and effectively. We will work with you to diagnose the cause and then develop a treatment plan to help reduce future outbreaks. Call our office to find out more and set up your appointment with Dr. Papasakelariou.