The Standard Group Plc is a multi-media organization with investments in media platforms spanning newspaper print operations, television, radio broadcasting, digital and online services. The Standard Group is recognized as a leading multi-media house in Kenya with a key influence in matters of national and international interest.
  • Standard Group Plc HQ Office,
  • The Standard Group Center,Mombasa Road.
  • P.O Box 30080-00100,Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Telephone number: 0203222111, 0719012111
  • Email: [email protected]

Say goodbye to cold sores: Practical advice for prevention and treatment

Health & Science

So, what exactly are cold sores? According to Dr Kakai Kulabusia, a medical immunology specialist, these are small blister-like spots that appear in or around the outside of the mouth and are caused by infection with the herpes simplex virus. 

it was discovered that eating a lot of ultra-processed food increased the risk of obesity, Crohn's disease, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, depression, wheezing and unfavourable sleep-related issues.

Cold sores, most commonly caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), often pop up around the lips or mouth. Once infected, the virus can linger in your body, occasionally flaring up when triggered by stress, fatigue, or exposure to sunlight. 

They can be highly contagious, even when the blisters are not present. The virus can spread through kissing, skin-to-skin contact, sharing drink containers, eating utensils, towels or toothbrushes. 

About 80 per cent of adults are infected with HSV-1. Most people are infected when they are young, and the infection lasts for life. However, the virus can remain dormant in many people, meaning that cold sores may never appear. 

Various factors can activate the virus resulting in one or more cold sores. These include tiredness and fatigue, a break in the skin near the affected area, menstruation (periods), stress, strong sunlight, cold or wind, alcohol and colds, flu, or fever. 

The good news? Cold sores typically heal on their own within a week or two. But if you are seeking some speedy relief, there are simple remedies to try. 

“Start by keeping the affected area clean and dry,” Dr Kulabusia advises. “Regular handwashing is key, and avoid the temptation to pick or prod at the blister to prevent further irritation.”

Over-the-counter treatments like antiviral tablets, creams, or ointments can also work. “Antiviral creams such as aciclovir, famciclovir and valaciclovir should be used in the first few days of a cold sore outbreak when a tingling sensation or a raised sore or blister is first noticed,” Dr Kulabusia recommends. 

“Always wash your hands if you touch the affected area. Avoid sharing cups, cutlery, towels, toothbrushes, razors, flannels, and cold sore creams,” he advises. “Avoid picking or pricking the cold sore blister(s) as it can lead to further infection and/or scarring,” he adds.  

As our doctors and specialists search for an effective treatment, a new drug, Pritelivir, is currently undergoing clinical trials for herpes symptoms. 

Related Topics


Trending Now


Popular this week