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Attack of the Cold Sores

So you woke up this morning and you have a heinous, itchy, red thing on your lip. It looks really nasty and you're not sure where it came from. Well, it's probably just a cold sore. Yeah, I know you don't even have the sniffles, let alone a cold, but that's what those little blistery things are called.

What Are They?

Cold sores are little red blisters that appear on or around the lip. They can appear by themselves or in little bunches. Cold sores are caused by HSV-1 - it's a virus not a cable channel. It's a form of herpes, which is one of the most common viruses in the world. You'll know if you are developing a cold sore because the spot where the sore is will feel itchy and tingly. Soon after it'll turn into that nasty blister. Cold sores will usually stick around for a week or two before they dry up and go away. The bad thing is, that the virus hangs around in your body forever, so chances you'll get a cold sore more than once.

What's the Best Treatment?

If you do get a cold sore, have something cold to drink or put some ice wrapped in a cloth on it. Eating popsicles can also help the cold sore go away, but avoid drinking lemonade and orange juice because citrus drinks can irritate the sore. Your cold sore will go away eventually, so don't panic. Whatever you do, don't pick at the sore - that'll just make it stick around longer.

How Do You Prevent Them?

One of the best ways to prevent cold sores is to keep the virus as far away from you as possible. So if that cute girl or guy from your class has a cold sore, don't be kissing them. Save that make-out session until after their cold sore is gone. It's also not a good idea to share forks, spoons or napkins with someone who has a sore. You are also more likely to get a cold sore if you haven't been getting a lot of sleep, you're stressed, or you haven't been eating properly.

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What's Nastier Than a Cold Sore?

  • A big zit.
  • An ugly wart.
  • Really bad bed head.
  • A screaming headache.

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