Cold Sore Treatment Questions and Answers
When an unwanted mark appears on your face and starts to feel painful, you can wonder what you did to deserve it! An urgent care clinic like ours at Immediate Care of Oklahoma is a great place to go to receive fast and effective cold sore treatment! For more information, call us! We serve patients from Edmond OK, Norman (24th) OK, Norman (HealthPlex) OK, West Moore OK, I-240 & Sooner Rd OK, Yukon OK, Valley Brook OK, and Bethany OK.
How do you get rid of a cold sore fast?
In order to quickly get rid of a cold sore, there are some at-home remedies that you can try, such as a cold compress or washcloth or avoiding spicy or acidic foods. However, it is in your best interest to see a medical expert for the most effective cold sore treatment. A board-certified physician, such as ours at Immediate Care of Oklahoma, can provide you with expert guidance when it comes to over-the-counter (OTC) medication to use for cold sore relief, as well as prescription medication if you experience cold sores frequently or are experiencing harsher side effects of a cold sore.
You should especially see a doctor about a cold sore if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Cold sores that start to spread
- Fever and chills
- Frequent cold sore outbreaks
- Irritated, itchy, or red eyes
- Painful or severe symptoms
- Sores that do not heal within two weeks
What is the best treatment for a cold sore?
If your cold sore requires medical treatment, the best treatment usually involves oral antiviral medication to speed up or induce healing or an anesthetic gel to relieve pain. As far as oral antiviral medications go, there are three different options, namely, 1) acyclovir, which is known commercially as Zovirax, 2) famciclovir, which goes under the brand Famvir, and 3) valacyclovir, or Valtrex. Our doctors at Immediate Care of Oklahoma can provide you with the best treatment for your cold sore, given the extent of the infection, your medical history, and any medications you are currently taking.
What triggers a cold sore?
Most cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), as opposed to herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), which is typically responsible for genital herpes. HSV-1 or -2 are often spread through close human contact, such as kissing or oral sex, but it can also be caused by sharing razors, towels, utensils, or other small accessories or appliances that involve your hands and face. However, HSV-1 does not always cause cold sores. For a cold sore outbreak to happen as a result of HSV-1, there are a number of different factors that can trigger the sores, such as the following:
- Common cold, fever, influenza, or another illness
- Compromised immune system or immune system changes
- Dental trauma
- Exposure to a hot sun, a cold wind, or cold weather
- Fluctuating hormone levels, often due to menstruation
- Skin injury
It should also be noted that a canker sore is not the same thing as a cold sore. Whereas cold sores appear outside the mouth and are contagious, canker sores occur inside the mouth and are not infectious.
If you are dealing with a canker sore and are at your wits’ end about it, please do not hesitate to come and see our medical experts at Immediate Care of Oklahoma! Our board-certified physicians would be happy to see you for a walk-in appointment at any of our seven different locations in Oklahoma City, Edmond, Norman, and Yukon, Oklahoma.