Fun in the Sun
(Minus the cold sores)
Summer is here, and we are all excited to bask in the beautiful Florida sunshine. Unfortunately, for some, sun exposure can lead to unsightly blisters (commonly known as cold sores) on their lips. However, before you decline that next invitation due to a terrible cold sore, keep reading…good news is here!
Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are caused by the Herpes Simplex viruses (HSV-1 and HSV-2), which enter the body through a break in the skin. They are characterized by a small cluster of blisters in or around the mouth. The blisters eventually burst leaving painful, ulcerated lesions. The virus lays dormant in the nerve ganglion and outbreaks are brought on by stress, be it physical or mental.
Common triggers are sun exposure, a fever/weakened immune system, even mental stress. The virus can be spread by contact with an infected person’s saliva or the fluid in the blisters through sharing of utensils, razors, kissing, etc. Most patients experience warning symptoms before an outbreak in the form of a tingling sensation in the area. The blisters usually appear within a day and typically last about 2 weeks.
Over the counter or prescription medications can lessen the duration and ease the discomfort. At St. Pete Oral Health Center, we are excited to offer a more effective treatment option – laser treatment. At the initial stage of tingling, the laser can heat and kill the virus, preventing the outbreak and formation of the blisters. This has been a wonderful relief for so many patients! If the blisters have already formed, the laser can dry them up and reduce the duration. Herpes Simplex cannot be cured but with repeated laser treatments, the frequency of outbreaks is diminished, and, in some, patients eliminated.
Only lasers can prevent an outbreak before it occurs! This simple, five minute treatment is more effective and convenient than days or weeks of ointments and medications. If you suffer from cold sores, we would love to help. When calling for an appointment, let us know it is for a cold sore treatment. We will make room for same-day treatment to make sure we get it before the outbreak.
Now that you know you know about laser treatments – go enjoy that beautiful Florida sunshine! Don’t forget your sunscreen and apply it to your body and your lips! 😊