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Complications of a Cold Sore

Cold sore outbreaks tend to be relatively mild and short-lived, particularly if you have a reliable cold sore cream you can turn to. However, in some instances, complications may arise and it is essential that you are aware of when you might need to seek medical help. Below we examine some of the potential complications you should look out for.

Herpetic whitlow

This complication of the cold sore virus is rare, affecting around 2.5 per 100,000 people each year.

Herpetic whitlow typically occurs when a cold sore blister comes into contact with a cut on the fingertip or near the fingernail. Although this kind of secondary infection can usually be treated with antiviral medicine, such as acyclovir, it can sometimes be confused with a bacterial infection and, if not treated appropriately, can lead to further complications such as herpetic encephalitis.

Certain people are at increased risk of herpetic whitlow. These include medical and dental workers, hairdressers and children who suck their thumbs. Nail biters are also at increased risk of infection.

Herpetic keratoconjunctivitis

Herpetic keratoconjunctivitis is another potential secondary infection of the cold sore virus. It occurs when the eyes are exposed to the virus and become infected. Symptoms include irritation, inflammation, swelling and soreness. If you believe that you may have developed herpetic keratoconjunctivitis, you should talk to your doctor or ophthalmologist about treating it with suitable antiviral medication. If the condition is left untreated it can cause damage to the cornea and potentially even result in blindness.

Eczema herpeticum

Eczema herpeticum is rare but is potentially serious. The condition develops when eczema-affected skin becomes infected with the cold sore virus and develops clusters of blisters. These can become painful, may bleed and can actually become further infected with a bacterial pathogen. General symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, a high temperature, fatigue, cold shivers and feeling generally unwell.

Eczema herpeticum can result in scarring and, if untreated, even organ failure or death. The condition is rare but if you have any symptoms, you should seek immediate emergency medical help.

Nature’s cold sore cream

Herstat’s propolis-based cold sore treatment is available as an ointment in a tube or as a LipCare stick. The ointment is for use during a cold sore outbreak and the LipCare stick serves as a protective aid between outbreaks.

Herstat is clinically-prove to be more effective than pharmaceutical treatments and helps you to heal no matter what stage of the outbreak you begin treatment.