Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are tiny blisters on the lips which usually come in patches or groups. These blisters are often itchy and painful and may burst and crust over. Primary outbreaks may also come with a variety of symptoms such as fevers, headaches and swollen lymph nodes.
Cold sores derive from the herpes simplex virus. Herpes Simplex is spread through contact as is often self limited, meaning that it heals on its own. However, this virus commonly reactivates, causing patches to reappear throughout life when triggered. Common cold sore triggers include stress, trauma, other illnesses and sunlight. Multiple recurrences per year may require suppressive therapy, or daily medication.
Cold sore lesions can be treated with anti-viral therapy including oral medications and creams. Multiple recurrences per year may require suppressive therapy, or daily medication.