Pharmacy Clinical Pearl: Cold Sores

OTC Guide, 2022 OTC Guide,

Cold sores are usually caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 and herpes simplex virus type 2.

Insight

  • Cold sores are tiny, fluid-filled blisters on and around your lips. These blisters are often grouped together in patches.
  • After the blisters break, a scab forms that can last several days.
  • Cold sores usually heal in 2 to 3 weeks without leaving a scar.
  • Cold sores spread from person to person by close contact, such as kissing.
  • They’re usually caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 and, less commonly, herpes simplex virus type 2.
  • Symptoms include tingling, itching, blisters, oozing, and crusting.
  • Treatement options may include acyclovir (Zovirax), valacyclovir (Valtrex), famciclovir, and penciclovir (Denavir).
  • Other treatment options may include lip balms, applying cold compress, rest, and pain relievers.