Cold sores — also called fever blisters — are a common viral infection, which are easily spread from person to person by close contact, such as kissing.
They usually appear as tiny blisters filled with fluid around your lips and, in most cases, they’re grouped together in small patches.
The sores are caused mainly by herpes simplex virus type 1 or, less regularly, by herpes simplex virus type 2. These viruses are contagious – even before you actually see the sores - and both types can affect your mouth or genitals.
They can also be spread by oral sex.
Cold sores generally start with a tingling, itching or burning feeling before the blisters actually appear, and they’re contagious from the moment you first feel the tingling feeling, so you need to take precautions that you don’t spread them to anyone else.
Once the blisters break or burst, a scab forms that can often last for a few days.
Cold sores usually clear up on their own within around 10 days, but you can help to heal the sores.
Unfortunately, there's no ‘cure’ for cold sores, but treatment can help you to manage outbreaks.
At Toome Pharmacy, our pharmacists are specially trained to both consult with you with regard to cold sores, and to prescribe and dispense medication that can help sores to heal more quickly.
We can also help to reduce the frequency, length and severity of future outbreaks.
The medication that we are trained to prescribe is an antiviral medicine called Aciclovir.
Aciclovir treats cold sores that have been caused by the herpes virus. It’s also used to treat chickenpox and shingles.
The medication comes in the form of tablets and a cream.
Cost of consultation and a course of Aciclovir 200mg is £10
In addition to the Aciclovir, our pharmacists will also be able to provide you with advice on avoiding recurrences of your cold sores, such as advising you to:
avoid anything that triggers your cold sores
use sunblock lip balm (SPF 15 or above) if you're out in the sun and wind.
If you’re currently experiencing outbreaks of cold sores, or find that you are experiencing outbreaks on a regular basis, call into the pharmacy for a consultation with our specially-trained staff, or phone the pharmacy to book a consultation.