Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family – Kofi Annan
No matter how you look at them or what you call them cold sores are a menace. These blister-like lesions come in all different shapes and sizes and a very large portion of the global population has to suffer through them. The good news is that they rarely cause severe medical issues. Nevertheless, they are embarrassing and at times keep you from your day to day life. We are here to debunk some common myths about cold sores. The more you understand about cold sores, the better prepared you are to handle them. But they are nothing to be ashamed of and a massive two thirds of the world’s population – more than 3.7billion people – under the age of 50 have the virus that causes them.
MYTH: Cold Sores aren’t that common.
FACT: This is absolutely not true. Cold Sores and the Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV-1) impact about two thirds of the world’s population. That is more than 3.7 billion people! HSV-1 is one of the most common viruses on the planet.
MYTH: Cold sores aren’t herpes
FACT: No matter what you call them, cold sores, fever blisters, it’s all the same. It’s herpes. With the stigma around herpes, it’s no wonder people try to disguise them as something else. But there is nothing to be ashamed of. In a room of 10 people probably about 7 people carry the virus.
MYTH: Cold sores and canker sores are the same thing
FACT: Cold sores and canker sores are very different. Canker sores are types of ulcers that occur on the inside of the mouth, tongue, or gums. The biggest difference between canker sores and cold sores is that canker sores are not caused by a virus, and are not contagious
MYTH: A cold sore infection will only spread through Open wounds
FACT: HSV-1 (the virus that causes cold sores) can be transferred from one person to another through either blood or saliva. However, the herpes virus will generally not transfer during the times when an individual does not have a cold sore or a herpes outbreak. People can obtain the herpes virus and develop cold sores after sharing food or food utensils with someone else that possesses the virus.
MYTH: Cold Weather causes cold sores
FACT: Perhaps it’s all in the name, but most people think that cold sores are most likely to break out in the depths of winter. In fact, sunlight is the most common trigger of cold sores, which is bad news for anyone planning to jet off on a winter sun holiday.
MYTH: There is nothing you can do to stop cold sores
FACT: It is true that cold sores are a beast. They are difficult to deal with, painful, and at times embarrassing but the good news is that you can fight them off. It first starts with knowing your personal triggers. From the sun, stress, poor diet, you need to observe and recognize what your cold sore triggers are and then do your best to avoid them. There are several remedies and medications on the market that can help to shorten their life and even prevent them from coming back.