Cold sores are the result of the herpes simplex virus, which very commonly enters into the human body. Cold sores are very distressing, and so it is no surprise that people who are suffering from them are eager to know the answer to how long does a cold sore last. This painful sickness typically starts off with red blots around the mouth. As the cold sores develop, they become extremely volatile liquid-filled blisters that eventually burst and form ulcers. These ulcers, in due course, dry out and fall off. Despite a number of medical advances in the recent past, scientists have been unable to answer with certainty how long does a cold sore last.
The first question that comes to mind when one thinks they are suffering from this horrible disease is: how long does a cold sore last? Doctors have realized that treatments such as topical ointments and oral antiviral medicine normally help speed up the healing process that is associated with this disease. If you are lucky and follow your doctor’s advice, how long does a cold sore last could be as little as one week. However, instances where cold sores last more than two weeks are not rare at all. Cold sores normally occur in four stages.
A Tingling Sensation
The first stage of cold sores is a tingling sensation near the lips. Once the herpes simplex virus has been triggered in your body, you may experience this stinging feeling for anywhere between five and ten days.
Small Blisters Appear
A couple of days after the tingling sensation starts, visible cold sores start appearing near your mouth. These fluid-filled blisters are usually quite small in size, but they might cluster up on a particular part of your face and appear to be one large blister.
The Blisters Begin to Open
Less than a week after the cold sores become visible on your face, these unappealing blisters begin to open up and let out the various fluids they have been holding. It is important to stay hygienic during this stage because anyone who comes into contact with the fluids your blisters release is likely to become prone to an attack from the herpes simplex virus. It is imperative that the patient washes his or her hands with antibacterial soap as frequently as possible. Try to avoid contact with the blisters, no matter how much pain you are experiencing.
Scabs Take Place on Your Face
Approximately one week after you were experiencing that tingling sensation, you should expect scabs to appear on your face. This normally happens once the blisters have dried out after releasing fluids. It is important to rub Vaseline on these scabs, and wait patiently for them to fall out. The unpredictability that is associated with the question how long does a cold sore last has a lot to do with this stage, since the time it takes for these scabs to fall off varies considerably from patient to patient.