Cold sores in these parts are usually referred to as fever blisters. And are pretty much common. Usually an adult must have had it at least once or twice and is usually caused by fever, stress or even exhaustion. Once this happens, immunity drops giving the herpes simplex virus room to pop out a cold sore (single or clusters of blisters) inside or around the mouth. They can also be found in the nose region.
Cold sores in children occur once they have been exposed to people with herpes. The herpes simplex virus or HSV-1 is not THAT type of herpes. Once infected, this virus can stay in the body unnoticed until some external or internal force triggers it. Then the cold sores appear; first forming blisters on the lips and inside the mouth. These blisters then become sores.
In some cases, the gums become red and swollen. In other cases, the virus also leads to a fever, muscle aches, eating difficulties, a generally ill feeling, irritability, and swollen neck glands. These symptoms can last up to 2 weeks. The blisters normally burst, scab over, and dry up, causing a honey-crusted appearance. After the sores dry up, they aren’t as contagious anymore. Since they easily spread through direct contact; if your child has cold sores, it’s important you learn how to prevent spreading them to others.
Common triggers are;
- mouth injury
- Fever or illness
- Sun exposure
- Lack of sleep
- Friction or mouth rubbing
Ways They Can Be Spread
Cold sores can be spread in the following ways:
- Direct contact with the sores (like through touching or kissing)
- Contact with items (like cups, toothbrushes, or towels) that have been contaminated by an infected person
How Do You Treat And Prevent Spread?
Usually cold sores can be treated at home easily, though without treatment, they are normally resolved within 10 to 14 days.
- once you sense your child might be having a cold sore, an ice pack usually does wonders. Placing ice on the affected area can actually stop the infection from progressing and being a full-fledged breakout
- if your child has recurring cold sores, talk to your doctor. Topical or oral antiviral medicine can be prescribed if your child has recurrent cold sores. To be effective, the medicine needs to be taken as soon as symptoms appear
- ensure you follow dosage instructions strictly as prescribed by your child’s doctor
- your child will require plenty of rest time
- proper hygiene is key this period. Teach your child to was his hands frequently, especially after using the toilet
- Keep your child’s towels and other personal objects away from other members of your family while your child has a cold sore.
- Tell him or her to try not to touch the cold sore or kiss anyone (including siblings/parents). This will help to avoid spreading the virus. The virus is more likely to spread if this is your child’s first cold sore outbreak.
- Cold liquids, ice, or frozen juice bars may help soothe mouth pain
- Avoid giving your child spicy or acidic foods (including fruits such as citrus and tomatoes)
- Use lip balm that contains sunscreen on your child’s lips, which may help reduce outbreaks of cold sores.
- Avoid foods that seem to cause your child’s cold sores to come back.
When To Treat As An Emergency
treat as urgent and visit your doctor immediately you notice the following;
- Your child has signs of infection, such as:
- Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.
- Red streaks leading from a cold sore.
- Pus draining from a cold sore.
- A fever.
- Your child has a cold sore and develops eye pain, eye discharge, or any vision changes.
- A cold sore that doesn’t go away within 10 – 14 days
- Cold sores that come back frequently
- A cold sore that grows larger or appears near the eyes
- Increased mouth pain
- Trouble swallowing
- Signs of dehydration (very dark or little urine, excessive thirst, dry mouth, dizziness)
- Your child has a fever (see fever section below)
- Your baby is fussy or cries and cannot be soothed.
- Your child has had a seizure caused by the fever
- Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 18. It has been linked to Reye syndrome, a serious illness.
- Do not give your child two or more pain medicines at the same time unless the doctor told you to. Many pain medicines have acetaminophen, which is Tylenol. Too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be harmful.