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Cold Sores on Tongue

Cold Sores on Tongue

Cold sores are caused by Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). It causes clusters of small, fluid-filled blisters that usually form on the lips, around or inside the mouth, nose, and the chin. Sometimes, blisters could appear on the tongue. This HealthHearty article provides information on this condition.
Bhakti Satalkar
Cold sores are also referred to as fever blisters. These are called by Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). There are two types of HSV: HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 causes oral herpes, whereas HSV-2 causes genital herpes. However, it is possible for HSV-1 and HSV-2 to cause cold sores on the mouth or the genitals. While the characteristic symptom is the formation of blisters on and around the lips and the mouth, this infection could also cause fever, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, etc. After the initial infection, the virus lies dormant in the nerve cells until it gets reactivated. It must be noted that the blisters usually occur at the same place.
Recurrence of Cold Sores
Some infected individuals might never develop cold sores, as the virus never gets reactivated. However, others may develop sores several times in a year. Once the virus gets reactivated, it travels down the nerve cells to the skin, causing fever blisters. About 24-48 hours before the blisters appear, one might experience a burning or tingling sensation at the affected area. Thereafter, small blisters appear, which get filled with fluid. After the blisters rupture, they dry up and crust over. Cold sores usually heal within 7-10 days. There are certain factors that could trigger an outbreak. These include:

Hormonal imbalance
Exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun
Compromised immune system due to HIV/AIDS, chemotherapy, etc.
Self-care Measures
The treatment involves the use of antiviral drugs such as acyclovir (Zovirax), famciclovir (Famvir), and valacyclovir (Valtrex). Application of an over-the-counter cream called docosanol will also prove beneficial. Lysine is an amino acid that can be taken orally or applied topically for preventing and treating cold sores. Since vitamin C strengthens the immune system, vitamin C supplements can be taken by those who have a compromised immune system.

In order to get relief from the burning sensation, you can apply ice or a clean washcloth that has been dipped in cold water.
Avoid spicy foods, citrus fruits, and caffeinated drinks when you have cold sores.
Don't touch the blisters every now and then. In case you touched the blisters, make sure that you wash your hands with an antiseptic soap.
Since the virus can get transmitted due to kissing or contact with the blisters, avoid physical contact during an outbreak.
Avoid anything that might trigger an outbreak. So, don't take stress, and avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight.
On a concluding note, the avoidance of triggers could help prevent a recurrence. However, if cold sores appear, take all the necessary precautions to prevent the transmission of virus to others. Take the drugs prescribed by your healthcare provider for alleviating the symptoms.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.