Viewer Comments: Herpes Simplex Infections - Describe Your Experience

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Cold Sores:

Herpes Simplex Infections - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with herpes simplex infections (cold sores, non-genital).

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Published: October 09

I get them occassionally, and I will swear by Abreeva especially if you attack it with the stuff right away, the second you feel that tingle/sensation. I'm practically running to the store. I found someone's comment on the internet about applying ice for 15 minutes at a time (the cold inhibits the virus). That was a miracle!!! The cycle of the cold sore was SOOO much quicker. 2-3 days and it was gone!!! Try it out, best of luck!

Comment from: Jeeves, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: October 29

I began getting cold sores when I was 11. Middle school was not fun for me. I have had up to 4 at a time on my upper lip, in my nose, below my nose, lower lip, below my lower lip. I get them about every three months. They start as a tingling, burning, itching, or feel numb. Then the small blisters appear; the skin with blisters on it will die and become a painful sore, the sore scabs over and slowly heals, splitting open as I eat, smile, etc. From blisters to heal the shortest time I have experienced is 5 days using Abreva, washing the area with soap and re-applying after meals and any chance I get. Stress, sun, caffeine, nicotine, illness, and irritation to the area, are all causes. Keeping the area dry and clean and using Abreva is the best at speeding up the process. I have had some success with a cold compress, and relaxation / visualization exercises. A healthy diet and exercise as well as two B-100 complex vitamins daily has reduced the outbreaks by half.

Comment from: firstimer, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 23

Ok, this really bites! At 50 years of age, I had my first cold sore ever....exactly 7 days after I went to the dentist for a routine cleaning. I can't help but feel a little contaminated. At first, I didn't even know what I had. Unlike the popular "tingling" sensation, mine started with a dry burning feeling, late in the afternoon. When I went to bed, I had a tiny bump in my top lip, so I thought maybe I had cut it on a straw. The next morning I got up to an atrocious site and it was so painful! My top lip looked like I had been stung or bitten by something. I still wasn't sure what was going on. It wasn't until the 3rd day, that I could see the little blisters forming and decided it was in fact, a cold sore. I did go to the doctor and he prescribed Zovirax. I've been using it for 2 days now and I'm not really impressed with the results so far. My advise to anyone experiencing anything for the first time, like I have described, is to seek immediate medical attention (especially if you had a recent visit to the dentist). You might save yourself days of pain and embarrassment.

Comment from: Mags, 45-54 Female Published: September 11

I was in my mid twenties when I first felt an itchy spot in the middle of my chin. I had no idea it would turn into a big ugly sore. Since then, I have been getting these things on and off for 25 years. They're always on my bottom lip or chin or both. There are two main causes. One is the sun, which is just fabulous when you are on vacation. The other one is stress, which is just what you need when you are starting a new job. I notice that I feel a bit run down at the time they occur. If I can zap it with Zovirax as soon as I feel that first little itch, then I can normally contain the severity of the attack.

Comment from: Sharon, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 09

I only get a cold sore once every couple of years. I have my primary Dr. prescribe me Valtrex (I get the now available generic brand) so I can get several prescriptions a year to keep on hand. I get very ill from cold sores. I get fever, chills, and big knots under my chin, and jaw area. I also take an antibiotic with a cold sore. If I didn't have the Valtrex, my cold sore would take up almost 50% of my lip. I get flu like symptoms with them. But I only get them once every two to three years, but it's always very bad, and make me sick.

Comment from: sak6769, 13-18 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 04

My son gets cold sores every year during this season. We found Abreva to relieve the pain and it keeps it from getting worse and decreases the healing time greatly. A great product.

Comment from: 25-34 Published: November 04

I have had cold sores since I was 14 years old, despite not knowing what it really was, even after seeing a doctor. During college I was actually told I had cold sores by a doctor and given Valtrex which is AMAZING! I don't take it daily but when taken at the first sign of the tingle will substantially decrease the severity of the cold sore and shorten healing time way better than even Abreva. It's easy to ask the doctor despite its advertisement as treatment for genital herpes. No side effects and it is well known as a treatment for cold sores. I keep it on me all the times and take it anytime I am worried about and outbreak and I haven't had one in a year. I swear it's the best treatment, besides all the topical things to relieve discomfort. It is a little embarrassing since everyone knows what this drug treats, but not as embarrassing as the bump! Like most people I get them from sun, stress and severe illness, but I feel I have cold sores really under control now.

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Cold Sores:

Cold Sore - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your cold sore?

Herpes Simplex Infections - Treatments

How were your herpes simples infections (cold sores, non-genital) treated?



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