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Did you know that an estimated 90 percent of adults around the world have been in contact with the herpes virus, which is responsible for cold sores?
Herpes labialis, commonly referred to as “cold sores” or “fever blisters,” is a common condition caused by the herpes simplex 1 virus (HSV-1). As is the case with the herpes simplex 2 virus ([HSV-2], which causes genital herpes), it is part of the same viral family as the shingles and chickenpox viruses.
Herpes labialis causes a series of symptoms that appear gradually, as follows:
Cold sore outbreaks are generally caused by psychological or physical stress. Symptoms generally fade within 7 to 10 days. However, once a person is infected, he or she will remain a carrier even after the lesions have healed. In addition, symptoms can recur at any time.
Good to know!
The fluid inside the blisters is highly contagious.
Cold sores are treated using anti-viral drugs, available by prescription. For these drugs to work, you need to take them as soon as you recognize the first warning signs of a cold sore.
Here are a few tips to improve your chances of preventing a new outbreak.
Herpes labialis is quite common and the virus is often acquired in childhood. This makes prevention a challenge. There are, however, certain preventive measures you can take:
People infected with HSV-1 should, among other things:
As soon as you feel the first warning signs of a cold sore – before it’s even visible – make sure you consult your pharmacist for advice on the right product to use. Your pharmacist can also prescribe* medications for certain minor health problems, including cold sores, when the treatment and diagnosis are known. A consultation will be required to make sure you meet the prescribing criteria.
To avail yourself of this service, you may need to book an appointment with your pharmacist. Ask a member of the pharmacy team for more details. Some Uniprix-affiliated pharmacies also offer an online appointment booking service. To locate the store nearest you providing this service, click here.
[UNIPRIX] - The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide complete information on the subject matter or to replace the advice of a health professional. This information does not constitute medical consultation, diagnosis or opinion and should not be interpreted as such. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions about your health, medications or treatment.