About Cold Sores
A cold sore is a blister on the lips or near the mouth. This blister is usually swollen, red and inflamed, and can be painful. Other names are oral herpes, mouth herpes, or a fever blister. These lesions can appear alone or in small clusters, and when they break, a clear fluid leaks out and the blister will scab over. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus, known as HSV, and can appear around the mouth and the genital region.
In the United States, more than 50% of women and men have oral herpes typically due to herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). A closely related herpes simplex virus, HSV-2, causes most cases of genital herpes. But either HSV-1 or HSV-2 can cause a cold sore on the mouth or genital region. Unfortunately, this condition is highly contagious and can be transmitted very easily when someone touches the infected area. Cold sores can be easily diagnosed and managed by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Reuel Aspacio at Summerlin Dermatology in Las Vegas, NV, where we can be sure that they are cleared up quickly and effectively.
"Love Alice when shes able to help me. They also give samples of barious brands that have been AMAZING on my skin"- A.K. / Google / Oct 19, 2018
"Excellent care and competent staff."- C.C. / Google / Oct 14, 2018
"Can't say enough great things about Trish and Dr. Aspacio! They are a really great team and Trish is seriously hilarious. They see you timely and can get you in quick for aesthetic/cosmetic. Love Trish's honesty about any skin care regimen questions. Her face is immaculate so I would absolutely take her advice and then some! ;). Really great practice, great customer service and a wonderful experience all around!"- S.C. / Yelp / Oct 02, 2018
"Before beginning this review, I took time to read several of the reviews posted. A very mixed bag of issues and emotions. Well, here is why I gave this group of working professionals a "5 STAR" rating. I was referred to Summerlin Dermatology by my so called medical PCP. I had concern about a mole like growth on my back which appeared to be getting larger. I was concerned it could be cancerous. I received a call from Summerlin Dermatology on 9/26/2018 regarding this referral. It seemed they had a cancellation for that day and asked if this was convenient for me. Yep. Sure was. However, I told the young lady on the phone, Daisy, I didn't want to sit there filling out new patient paperwork. She explained their website with the on-line forms was down at the time and offered to email me the forms to complete before I arrived. She was so upbeat and professional. When I arrived for my appointment (with my completed paperwork) I was greeted by, not one, but two front office staffers, Jose and Desiree. They were professional with a smile. Again, upbeat. I signed in and waited about 10-15 minutes before I was taken into the examining room. During my wait time I had the opportunity to chat with each of these individuals. Very professional, yet not "starchy" if you know what I mean. Real people with a job to do the best they can. I met with Dr. Aspacio and his assistant. I felt at ease with both. I told the doctor why I was there. Doctor Aspacio examined the mole growth. Then asked me for my cell phone. He took a picture of this mole on my back. It was not easy for me to see since it was on my back. He showed me the picture and explained that it was typical of getting older. Such moles are common at "our age". I laughed. He even showed me a couple of areas where he has developed similar moles. He made me feel at ease. I was sooo relieved. I have lived in Las Vegas for 43 years. I am 67 years old with Medicare insurance. If you want to experience REALLY BAD medical treatment just wait until you become a senior and on Medicare! I thank heaven that Summerlin Dermatology was an outside referral and NOT part of my primary care network!! I haven't seen my PCP in 2 years! All I see are PAC's or a Nurse Practitioner! Summerlin Dermatology, in my experience/opinion, is only 1 of 3 local medical facilities with whom I would consider professional, to the point and personable. I would recommend them highly!!!"- L.H. / Yelp / Sep 27, 2018
"Very knowledgeable professional and detailed. The staff is very attentive and the doctor was incredibly informative taking the time to make sure I understood the procedure. When the results came in he recommended a plastic surgeon to do the surgery. I really felt very confident in the diagnosis and appreciated everyone's help."- S.S. / Yelp / Sep 20, 2018
Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus. Once a person is infected with HSV-1 or HSV-2, the outbreak of the virus can only be managed, but not cured. It will remain within the body for life. The transmission of the HSV-1 or HSV-2 is from various sources, such as kissing, exchanging bodily fluids/saliva, touching an outbreak, sharing lipsticks or straws, sexual transmission, and other common factors. Those diagnosed with HSV-1 or 2 should communicate to their partners that they carry this virus so that they can be aware.
Some cold sores appear randomly on the skin alone or in clusters. There are many different triggers for cold sore outbreaks, such as:
- Trauma to the skin
- Food or drinks that are irritating to the skin
- Environmental factors
- Dry skin around the mouth
- Overexposure to the sun
- Poor hygiene
- Dental treatments
- Different phases of the menstrual cycle (for women)
- Fluctuations in hormones
The hallmark symptom of a cold sore is a tingling or burning sensation before the appearance of the outbreak. The classic sign of herpes is a cluster of blisters on a base of red skin. The blisters look like they filled with clear liquid and dry up rapidly and leave a scab that lasts anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the severity of the outbreak.
Cold sores usually go away on their own within a few days. However, if they are visible on the lip or near the mouth, it can be embarrassing and also painful. Summerlin Dermatology can assist to speed up the healing process by prescribing antibiotics, skin creams, and ointments. Treatment by a professional can help speed up the healing process, but often it just takes time. There are numerous over-the-counter creams which have proven to be effective as well. If you frequently get cold sores, we will discuss treatment options based on outbreak frequency and severity.
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Getting a cold sore is never fun. At Summerlin Dermatology in Las Vegas, NV, we understand you want it controlled fast and effectively. We will work with you to diagnose the condition and then make a treatment plan so that future outbreaks are kept to a minimum. Call our office to learn more and schedule your appointment with Dr. Aspacio.