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What is that on my lip--oh no!

Tell me who hasn’t had a little bit of increased stress and then, bam, a cold sore pops out on your lip. Well, I have been there—usually at least once a year. That tingling and irritated sensation on the top of my right lip, then gradually over the day see the blisters pop out—ouch! And then it takes forever to go away. And usually there is always a picture to remember it by…

Sound familiar—sorry.

So let’s talk science. Cold sores come from the herpes virus—yes you heard me right, again sorry. Transmission is by coming in contact with someone else that has had one (there does not have to be an active lesion for transmission to occur).

Okay, now that we all feel dirty, please don't, you are in good company. According to John's Hopkins, 50-80% of adults deal with this; with 90% of those over 50 having been exposed. Here is some good news, there are some really great treatment options!

So the first thing you have to do is tease out how often they are occurring. If they are a few times a year, there are prescription medications that you can have on hand to start immediately at the first sign of the cold sore. This usually helps to keep the flare to a minimum. If you are getting them a couple of times a month, you can take a medication daily to try to prevent them from happening.

This is one of those things that I STRONGLY recommend you talk to you doctor about when you are just in for routine follow-up. Being able to have something on hand and start the medication as soon as possible is going to be your best bet to decrease the intensity of the flare or possibly not have them at all!

…until next time, IrishDoc07

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