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Why did I not phone the doctor?’ But I didn’t. Not sure what the answer is. Usually you would not need to see your GP if you have cold sores. A number of brands are available. A number of brands are available. A machine which delivers narrow-band light can be bought from pharmacies. Oral antivirals are used with the aim of stopping the virus multiplying and preventing the cold sores from becoming too severe.

They do have some effect in preventing further attacks and are prescribed for people who have severe attacks or who have problems with their immune system. Oral antiviral tablets may be prescribed in severe cold sore infections, in newborn babies, or in people who have a poor immune system (immunocompromised people). Oral antiviral tablets are not routinely used for the treatment of cold sores. Aciclovir is also available in tablet form. There is debate as to how well the cream works. There is debate as to how well the cream works. If you use an antiviral cream as soon as symptoms start then the cold sore may not last as long as usual and may be less severe.

If you use an antiviral cream as soon as symptoms start then the cold sore may not last as long as usual and may be less severe. The cream may provide some protection against cold sores caused by sunlight if it is used before exposure. Lidocaine is a local anaesthetic gel that can also be used to control pain. Blood tests are available for people with severe infections. Neither of these tests is routinely available at your GP surgery. A blood test can also detect the virus more reliably than a swab can. Symptoms of tingling pain followed by the typical blisters that crust around the nose and mouth are usually enough to make the diagnosis.


Tests are not usually needed to confirm the diagnosis of cold sores. Tests are not usually needed to confirm the diagnosis of cold sores. Healthy people who already have cold sores cannot be re-infected. When you have no symptoms – when the virus is dormant (inactive) – you are not usually infectious. This includes mental and emotional stress, as well as dental treatment, illness, trauma to the lips or sun exposure. Avoid oral sex until the cold sores have completely healed. Avoid oral sex until the cold sores have completely healed.

Avoid oral sex until the cold sores have completely healed. Immunocompromised people include people having chemotherapy for cancer and people with conditions such as AIDS. In particular, avoid kissing newborn babies and anyone who has a poor immune system (an immunocompromised person). When you have a cold sore you should not kiss anyone or allow anyone to come into skin contact with the sore. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Some virus will remain dormant (inactive) in the nerve sheath, ready to cause another cold sore sometime in the future. Some virus will remain dormant (inactive) in the nerve sheath, ready to cause another cold sore sometime in the future. Some virus will remain dormant (inactive) in the nerve sheath, ready to cause another cold sore sometime in the future. Some virus will remain dormant (inactive) in the nerve sheath, ready to cause another cold sore sometime in the future. Some virus will remain dormant (inactive) in the nerve sheath, ready to cause another cold sore sometime in the future. Some virus will remain dormant (inactive) in the nerve sheath, ready to cause another cold sore sometime in the future. Some virus will remain dormant (inactive) in the nerve sheath, ready to cause another cold sore sometime in the future.

Some virus will remain dormant (inactive) in the nerve sheath, ready to cause another cold sore sometime in the future. Some virus will remain dormant (inactive) in the nerve sheath, ready to cause another cold sore sometime in the future. Some virus will remain dormant (inactive) in the nerve sheath, ready to cause another cold sore sometime in the future. The scab slowly disappears over a week or so, leaving no scar. Until the cold sores have ‘scabbed over’ and are completely dry, the cold sore is very infectious and can be spread to other people. Cold sores can be very tender and painful. Cold sores can be very tender and painful.

After the tingle, one or more blisters appear which are usually sore. You may feel a tingle or an itch before the blisters appear, usually around your lips or nose. You may feel a tingle or an itch before the blisters appear, usually around your lips or nose. You may feel a tingle or an itch before the blisters appear, usually around your lips or nose. What are the symptoms of a cold sore? They are usually mild and seldom involve the flu-like symptoms.