Cold sores are caused by a virus known as the Herpes Simplex. Even though the virus has two main strains called the herpes simplex one (HSV-1) and the herpes simplex virus two (HSV-2) but the type 1 of the virus strain is the one that usually causes the cold sores around the mouth i.e. (HSV-1). In very few cases of cold sores, fever blisters can also be caused by the type 2 strain of the herpes simplex virus usually occurring due to the practice of having oral sex with a patient infected with the herpes of the genital organs because herpes 2 is usually associated with lower half of the body region especially herpetic lesions on the genital areas. Due to decrease in immunity, even exposure to cold can cause cold sore.

Once the virus is contracted, the body's immune system cannot completely get rid of the infection. Until an outbreak, the herpes simplex virus stays inactive in the sensory nerve cells of the face. So it remains in the body and is usually hidden in a nerve located near the cheekbone.

Various trigger factors are present which cause an outbreak of fever blisters through the year and may vary from patient to patient. Few trigger factors:

  1. When the area affected by the virus gets injured.
  2. Presence of emotional outbursts
  3. Mental stress
  4. The tired body
  5. Harmful UV rays of the sun
  6. Allergies to foods
  7. Monthly Period cycles of a woman
  8. Various performed dental treatments.

During a cold sore outbreak, typically triggered by factors listed above, the virus "wakes up" and eventually becomes a visible and highly contagious sore, usually on or around the lip area.

Herpes simplex virus-1 enlarged to 169,000 times by scanning electron microscope

Many people get infected with the cold sore virus that is the Herpes Simplex virus, but out of all the infected cases some get cold sores while others stay free of them. It is mainly due to three reasons.

The three main activating triggers that cause or affect the cold sore activity are the following

1.  A weak immune system is usually associated with cold sores

The immune system is affected by many things, the most important being the nutrients we intake from the eatables and the additional food supplements. The simplest way to enhance the immune system in this fast moving world full of tensions and mental problems is to take a good vitamin and mineral dosage.

Even though food provides us with the most efficient nutrient including vitamins and minerals it lacks sufficient amount needed by us because of various reasons one being that the land these days are becoming less and less productive due to growing overuse of chemicals and land pollution.

In easy terms chronic cold sore outbreaks, are mainly due to a deteriorated immune system of the body.

2. Cold sore activity is also initiated by a large deposit of arginine and a low amount of lysine in the body cells. Arginine is known to be one of the main recopies required for the formation of the new virus. In its absence the new virus is not possible to develop therefore bringing the replication to a full stop. Result absence of fever blisters. Arginine and amino acid lysine fight for the same space in the cell. The increase in the lysine stores of the body might prevent, decrease the outbreaks.  The various food stuffs which have small quantity of arginine and are rich in lysine are:

Fish (flounder has high quantity of lysine in it), chicken, eggs, beef, apples, papaya, beets, and other milk products.  Yogurt and Cheese have high quantity of lysine.  These foods have lysine to arginine ratio of 2 to 1.

Arginine is more than lysine in anything that contains chocolate, tea and bush nuts, flax, sesame and other seeds, shell type sea foods, oats, wheat, barley, and other grains, fruits such as grapes, onions, pea etc.

3. Cold sores are also caused by low value of ph. A ph of 7.5 is considered almost ideal ph for top health. Normally the body will regulate the ph with the value of 6.4 to 7.5. A complete diet consisting of green vegetables, chicken and mutton, and fruits will help.  Mainly eat green leafy vegetables and ample fruits. Calcium of the body is used as the main protocol for keeping body pH above 7.  It will remove the calcium from the bones to accomplish this. The result is the problem of osteoporosis or identical problems.

Depending upon the importance it is advised to eat foods rich in calcium and take a good nutritional intake that contains a good supply of minerals.  Avoid food like tobacco, pork, and high gas soft drinks etc which contribute to acidity.  Cold weather and lack of exercise play the same role of increasing the acidity.

Most of the times the onset of cold sores is associated with the stress present in day to day life. Therefore stress in any form can have a drastic effect on both physical and mental ways in three main ways:

  1. A large quantity of vitamin B and vitamin C are consumed by stress which leads to degrading of the immune system.
  2. The ph of the body is made acidic from normal by stress which enhances the growth of the cold sore virus.
  3. The levels of lysine are raised and arginine decreased in the nervous tissue cells.

Contagious Nature of Cold Sore

Often cold sore is transmitted mostly in childhood on being kissed by a person who is infected or is having an active cold sore outbreak. If it occurs late in life then the probable cause is something different, most probably then it is acquired from a partner through a physical contact i.e. kissing someone who has infection. Only about 20% of those carrying the virus ever gets symptoms of cold sores. The sores can appear within days or weeks or even years following that first exposure to the virus. The first time symptoms are usually more intense that subsequent outbreaks.

Fever blisters are least wanted but these unwanted sores appear at the most miserable time.

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