Uncommon Causes of Cold Sores
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus, a common and infectious virus which is usually contacted during childhood and hides in the nerve ganglia near where your cold sore usually appears. The virus can remain dormant for months or years without reappearing, until your body becomes unbalanced. Your natural body defenses keep the virus in check until your defenses drop because you may feel tired, upset or stressed; you resistance is lowered, you have a fever, overexposure to the sun or wind, or maybe you are menstruating, and suddenly you feel that familiar tingling sensation.
One of the most vexing lip problems is dry, chapped lips. Because lips do not contain oil glands, they tend to dry out very easily and become chapped. Chapped lips have many causes and can occur in any season. Dry winter air or hot summer sun can contribute to the problem as can dryness in the home. People who lick their lips frequently may find that the more licking they do, the drier their lips get.
To keep lips moist, use a petroleum or beeswax-based product, or plain petroleum jelly. Avoid flavored products because they can tempt you to lick your lips more often. Cold sore symptoms are usually the same for both adults and their children. A kid's cold sore will generally start as a tingly or itchy feeling on the lips or around the mouth. Within a couple hours the area will appear as a red blemish. Soon afterwards, the reddened area starts to swell into a small bump, at which point the area starts to become painful.
Generally HSV-1 virus is transmitted by contact of an infected fluid like kissing; it can also spread by touching a cold sore, sneezing or coughing. This HSV-1 virus can spread from parent to child when the child is in contact with an item that the parent with a cold sore has used or touched. When the HSV-1 virus infects a person for the first time then it's called the primary herpetic stomatitis though it does not always result in cold sores. The particular virus may lie dormant for a long time. Mostly people come into contact with the HSV-1 virus by the age of five but they do not experience their first cold sore till puberty sets in.
The virus that causes this problem is known as herpes simplex virus, in short HSV. This is contagious and the disease can spread specially by kissing and by coming in contact with the sore in any way.
The blister is contagious when it is fresh and active. But when it becomes dry, then there is less chance of spreading the disease. But it should also be mentioned that a person could spread this disease even when she/he is cured.
Viruses cause many common human infections, and are also responsible for a bevy of rare diseases. Examples of viral illnesses range from the common cold, which is usually caused by one of the rhinoviruses, to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Viruses may contain either DNA or RNA as their genetic material. Herpes simplex virus and the hepatitis- B virus are DNA viruses. RNA viruses have an enzyme called reverse transcriptase that permits the usual sequence of DNA-to-RNA to be reversed so the virus can make a DNA version of itself. RNA viruses include HIV and the hepatitis C virus.
Certain strains of the herpes virus cause cold sores. Herpes simplex virus type 1 usually causes cold sores. Herpes simplex virus type 2 is usually responsible for genital herpes. However, either type of the virus can cause sores in the facial area or on the genitals. You get the first episode of herpes infection from another person who has an active lesion. Shared eating utensils, razors and towels may spread this infection.