How to Get Rid of Cold Sores in the Mouth

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How to Get Rid of an Infected Cold Sore....5

Cold sores on the mouth have a tendency to rear their ugly heads during the most inconvenient of times. Get rid of cold sores in the mouth with help from a practicing pediatrician in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Keep Your Body Healthy
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dr. David Hill, and today we're going to talk about how to get rid of cold sores in the mouth. Well, usually when we're talking about a cold sore, we're talking about a lesion that starts on the lip. It might be on one side or in the middle. It usually starts as a tender, or maybe tingling or numb or burning bump, and then that tends to spread out. It will erode with time so that it forms sort of a shallow ulcer on the lip, and it may spread from there. Now, a lot of those are herpes viruses, Herpes Simplex Type 1 or 2. The viruses that we used to think of as solely genital, may infect the mouth, the mouth viruses may infect the genitals. So, it doesn't mean necessarily that you have a sexually transmitted disease. In fact, much of the human population eventually is infected with one of the types of herpes virus, regardless of their level of sexual activity, including kids. That lesion will spread. If you're going to treat it, you need to treat it in the first couple of days. Now, there are some topical agents that can be used. However, for immunocompetent people, they tend not to be very effective. To really make it go away, you probably are going to need an oral agent, something like Acyclovir or Valacyclovir. Those are the two drugs that have been approved. As you might imagine, they're closely related to each other, and these are the ones that you need to start within the first couple of days to treat a cold sore on the mouth. Now, some children and even some adults will get sores all over the inside of the mouth. Sometimes those are herpetic sores and may respond to Acyclovir. Many times they're caused by other viruses, such as Coxsackievirus and the saying of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. For those, care is really supportive. There are some medicines we can use like antacids or Benadryl to help soothe the pain on the inside of the mouth, but they don't really make the lesions go away. The last thing, if you have cold sores and they also seem to be infecting the eye or the area around the eye, that could be a very serious infection. It could still be a herpes virus infection. It could also be an infection with the Chicken Pox Virus, Varicella. Those infections need to be treated very quickly and very aggressively. Talking about how to treat cold sores in the mouth, I'm Dr. David Hill.


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