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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" -Cold Sores


These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Cold Sores Relief
Question: I take Zovirax now and then to help against cold sores. It no longer seems to be helping and was wondering what else might be out there for me.

Answer: Ulcers in the mouth have several potential causes. Consequently, treatment needs to be directed at the cause. It sounds as if you have more than one cause of the ulcers. Usually, treatment focuses on the pain and allows the ulcers to heal by themselves. There are several products like Ora-Base which are topical gels and creams to apply to ulcers to help the pain. Also, topical application of a liquid antihistamine like Benadryl will sometimes be helpful.

Face Tingling
Question: I have a cold sore now and it is causing tingling sensations on the left side of my face, not to mention an intense eye headache, when is a worthy visit to my doctor necessary over a measly cold sore? Since it is a virus is there anything a health professional can do to kill these things for good? And what is being done about this?

Answer: Cold sores are usually due to different herpes viruses. Other viruses are occasionally implicated-but, tend to be less reoccuring. There are medical treatments for these viruses. However, it will not kill the virus-merely control it. These viruses tend to break out during times of stress, lack of sleep and other changes in the immune system. I would contact your physician and discuss treatment.

Cure or Remedy
Question: I am curious about mouth blisters or is it cold sores. I notice that if I bite my lip or if there is a small cut, I notice an inflammation and a tingling pain that last 3-4 days. What is the best cure or remedy to a quicker recovery and the cause. Is this because I have a vitamin deficiency or dental hygiene problems. I appreciate very much your response.

Answer: I can't tell from your note whether you're describing oral ulcers, apthous ulcers, etc. Each has different causes and treatments. "Cold sores" are due to herpes virus and reoutbreaks. There is oral antibiotics that work if taken early in the course. Oral ulcers due to mechanical trauma are best treated with topical ice, benedryl and may need to see your dentist for a bite adjustment. Oral ulcers due to systemic disease will require that the systemic problem be diagnosed(lupus etc.). There are some oral ulcers due to B vitamin deficiencies. Usually seen as cracking between your lips called cheliosis.
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