When Cold Sores Go From Bad to Worse

Cold sores (more properly known as outbreaks of herpes simplex virus) are a common misery known to many, if not most of us. Typically, they appear in warm moist environments, like the inside of the mouth. They can be spread by kissing or intimate contact with infected others, but these viruses are more often the result of childhood chicken pox. Alas, they reside inside the bones forever only to re-emerge periodically, usually in times of stress.

Cold sores in the mouth are bad. But herpes outbreaks above the upper lip— particularly at the end of the nose—can have serious consequences. Specifically, the virus can damage the optic nerve, leading to eye problems. In these cases it’s important to receive a systemic antiviral, acyclovin, to ward off potential ocular nerve damage. In any event, if you experience a herpes outbreak above the lip, consult your medical professional immediately.

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