Cold sores, or fever blisters, are small, fluid-filled blisters that appear on or around the lips. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) and are highly contagious. Cold sores typically start with a tingling or burning sensation, followed by the formation of clusters of painful blisters. These blisters eventually burst, crust over, and heal within 7 to 10 days. Recurrence of cold sores is common, often triggered by stress, illness, or exposure to sunlight. While there is no cure for the virus, over-the-counter creams with antiviral agents can help speed up healing, and oral antiviral medications may be prescribed for severe cases. Preventive measures include avoiding close contact, not sharing personal items, and maintaining good hygiene. If cold sores are frequent or severe, consulting a healthcare professional is recommended for proper management and treatment.
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