The technical name for Cold Sores is herpes labialis, which is sometimes also called Orobial herpes. This is an infection of the herpes simplex virus which shows itself somewhere on the mouth-usually on the lips. These are usually small blisters which most people call either fever blisters or cold sores. These sores can heal with two or three weeks but the virus will never be completely removed from the body. The virus will infect the facial nerves and will lay dormant for long periods of time. In symptomatic people the sores can reappear where the original infection occurred. Many people like to use Abreva to take care of their cold sores.
Every year millions of people get cold sores. Some estimates show that over forty million Americans get cold sores every year. Their frequency can be anywhere from only the rarest occurances of cold sores to twelve or more recurrences of the virus every year. It is estimated that most of these people will only get one to three outbreaks every year. Luckily, the severity and frequency of these outbreaks will decrease over time. Thirty to sixty percent of all children bellow the age of ten are already carrying the virus. They have usually acquired it from family or friends through sharing utensils or kissing. The virus is usually transmitted by cold sores, but can still be transmitted when there are no visible cold sores present. It is said that eighty to ninety percent of the population over fifty years old have the virus and caught it from someone close to them.
In most people who are carrying the virus it will remain dormant almost their entire life. The virus can reactivate and begin to cause the disease. This only happens in one third of all people who have the virus. When the virus wakes up it will create the symptomatic blisters around the mouth but they can also form on areas such as the nose, chin, and cheeks. This only happens in about ten percent of all cases. There are many things that are said to influence the outbreaks. Stress, menstruation, sunlight, sunburn, fever, and skin trauma are some of the ost common. There are some more unnatural things that have been shown to make them appear more often as well, these are things like neural surgery, lip tattooing, and dermabrasion.
The virus can also be transferred to
other parts of the body. This is called autoinoculation. Areas that
are usually effected by this are the eyes, skin, or fingers. An eye
infection is one of the most serious things that can happen. This is
caused when you rub cold sores with your fingers then rub your eyes
without washing them. You can also get finger infections, which is
called herpetic whitlow. This usually happens to children who suck on
their fingers whilst they have cold sores. This form of herpes, which
is different from the STD herpes, can also infect the genital area if
a person engages in oral sex with a person with oral herpes.
How Effective Is Abreva For Cold Sores?
When I had my last cold sore I woke up in the morning and a small amount of blisters had formed overnight. It looked like it was going to end up being a fairly big sore. I woke up at some point during the night and the spot where I usually get sores was itching and burning. It was the middle of the night so I couldn't really do anything about it. I didn't expect it to already be so bad by morning. That morning I went out to do a small amount of shopping and saw a small package of Abreva. It said it was effective against cold sores. It was a bit expensive but the spot was hurting bad enough that I ended up just getting it anyways.
Abreva contains a drug which is called docosanol. It is only in it in very small amounts. My packages said it was only made up of 10% docosanol. This is advertised as the only treatment approved by the FDA to actually shorten the time it takes for a cold sore to heal. The directions on the package were also very simple. You only need to Abreva five times a day until the cold sore has healed up. I was honestly hoping it would take less than that, maybe twice a day. You can also put makeup on over the Abreva but you have to completely clean up the makeup between each treatment.
After only my first treatment of Abreva there was a noticeable difference in how the area around the cold sores look. It definitely less swelling. By the next day, after putting it on every few hours the previous day, the swelling had gone away almost completely. The other symptoms were also nearly gone. The itching and burning feelings which I have always associated with cold sores was practically gone. Fleeting at best. Needless to say, I was pretty impressed and continued to apply it to the area faithfully. The blister shrunk down but never scabbed over which is another plus. The entire ordeal lasted only a little bit over a week.
Like I already said, I was initially
really bothered by the price. You need to keep one thing in mind
though, this is a cream and it will really go a long way. I imagine
that a single small bottle of Abreva for cold sores like the one I
got would last years for the average person who only gets cold sores
occasionally. Even if you frequently get cold sores it will still
last a long time. Abreva also did an incredible job-I would be
willing to buy it again at twice the price. The healing time is cut
down to a third of the time it usually takes for my cold sores to go
away, the itching and burning sensations were removed almost entirely
from the beginning. Abreva for cold sores is probably the greatest
medication ever made when it comes to curing cold sores.