Our little man appears to be getting a cold sore, neither my husband nor I nor anyone in our families ever had cold sores... I've looked for ways to treat it online, but I'm just looking for advice for those of you who have dealt with cold sores on your kiddos, especially young ones, D is just barely two years old. He didn't seem to get the "initial" infection while in our home (it sounds like it would be awful), but he's definitely getting a blister on his lip. And, he's a nose picker extraordinaire and he's transferring his well-honed skills to picking at his cold sores. We can't possibly stop him from picking at it all the time and we're just wondering WHAT to do.
I've had "cold sores" all of my life. Your pede should be able to prescribe a sulfa that will help to heal it quickly. I've found that keeping it moist (vasoline seems to work best and tastes horrible) keeps it from cracking and bleeding. There are several otc meds that work really really well too.
Hopefully this is just herpes simplex - it can be caught by any sort of contact and it is dormant and flares at different times. I used to get a flare every time my resistance was down, recovering from a cold or flu etc - but haven't actually had a full blown one in years. I got some stuff in a purple bottle (the name has worn off) at the checkout counter at a pharmacy and I use it when the 'itch' starts - and it doesn't go any further.
Hope this helps a bit - not real informative - but if you don't know where he was infected - I'd take him in for a culture to make sure it isn't anything more serious. Just a thought, anyway.
Good luck
Uggh...I've had these all my life, and they're no fun.
To treat an active outbreak, the most effective thing is a prescription antiviral. I don't know if they can be given to young children, but it's worth asking your pediatrician. (I use zovirax).
If a prescription antiviral is out, the next best thing is the supplement L-lysine, which you can get in any health food store or grocery store. Ask your ped about dosing, but for my adult self, I use about 3000 mg a day for the first three days----a gigantic dose. It keeps the virus from replicating, so if you start taking it when the sore first appears, a lot of times it will subside without scabbing over. I've tried Abreva and the cream form of Zovirax, but it hasn't helped much. But if that's all you can do for your toddler, try it.
In the future, here's how to prevent an outbreak: they're triggered by being sick, or by getting sunburned or windburned lips. Chapstick with an SPF 15 is a godsend. I never leave the house without one on me, and I put it on every few hours all the time. If you think he's getting one, or that he might get one (because he's got a fever, for example), you might give L-lysine to head it off at the pass.
Hope this helps!
just to remind you guys who has cold sore don't kiss your kids. this cold sore is type of herpes can pass on. It is a STD and has no cure. so please be careful.
I don't post here. I am just a reader.
just to remind you guys who has cold sore don't kiss your kids. this cold sore is type of herpes can pass on. It is a STD and has no cure. so please be careful.
I don't post here. I am just a reader.
A cold sore is Herpes Simplex Virus 1... which is NOT and STD. Over half of the worlds population carries HSV1 and most never know it.
HSV2 is an STD.
What are cold sores?
Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are small red blisters that crop up near the lips or on them. More rarely, they sprout on the roof of the mouth. (Some people confuse them with canker sores, which are painful crater-like sores that appear on the tongue or on the inside of the cheeks.) Despite their name, cold sores actually have nothing to do with colds; they're caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), a close relative of the virus that causes genital herpes.
How do you get cold sores?
Most children pick up the virus by sharing food with or kissing someone who has a cold sore. They can also get the infection from someone who doesn't have a visible sore but has the virus in his or her saliva. Once you contract the virus, it stays in your body for good, hiding in nerve cells near your ear. In some people, the virus lies dormant and never causes harm. In others, it periodically wakes up and triggers cold sores. Nobody knows what stirs the virus into action, but stress, fever, colds, and sunburn seem to encourage outbreaks.
What are the symptoms?
Children don't develop cold sores immediately after the first time they catch the virus. Instead, your child may have swollen gums and a sore feeling in the mouth. A few days later, you may see a cluster of small blisters that turn into a shallow, painful sore, possibly accompanied by fever and swollen lymph glands in the neck. In a few days the sore will crust over and slowly disappear. The whole flare-up lasts about seven to ten days.
What's the best way to treat cold sores?
Cold sores will go away on their own, but there are some things you can do to help your child feel better in the meantime.
•To ease the pain, apply ice to the sore or give your child a mild pain reliever, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. (Never give aspirin to children or teenagers; it may trigger Reye's syndrome, a rare but potentially life-threatening illness.)
•Have your child avoid salty, spicy, and sour foods, which irritate the raw nerves in the sore.
•Dab on a water-based zinc ointment. It helps dry out the sore so it can heal faster, and the zinc may also aid the immune system.
To keep your child from infecting other parts of his body or giving the virus to someone else, encourage him to wash his hands regularly and keep him from picking at his sores.
One last caution: Urge your child to avoid touching his eyes when he has a cold sore. HSV-1 can cause ocular herpes, a serious eye infection. If your child develops a painful sore on his eyelid or the surface of his eye, schedule a prompt appointment with his pediatrician: Your child may need antiviral drugs to keep the infection from scarring his cornea. In rare cases, ocular herpes can weaken vision and even cause blindness.
Also, any kind of herpes virus is dangerous to newborns. If you have a newborn, keep any of your children who have a cold sore away from him until it's healed.
How can I prevent cold sores?
The first thing you can do is try to keep your child free of the virus that causes cold sores, which may be difficult, given how contagious HSV-1 is. Remember, one peck with an infected lip is all it takes to pass on the virus. If you have sores and your child doesn't, cut out kissing until you've healed.
If you are the parent of a newborn and have a cold sore, you don't need to separate yourself from your new baby. Do wash your hands frequently, though, and avoid kissing your baby until the cold sore goes away. You may consider wearing a surgical mask to cover the sore as well. Infectious disease experts do recommend that women with herpes sores on their breasts refrain from breast feeding until the sores are healed.
If your child already has the virus, the best thing you can do is keep his immune system strong by making sure he gets a healthful diet, plenty of sleep, and regular exercise. Giving your child a daily multivitamin may also help boost his immune system.
You should protect your child from the sun as well. If he ventures outside on a sunny day, slather him with sunscreen and put on a lip balm that contains sunblock.
BUT it is still true that they pass very easily from person to person. I've had them all my life and thought I was always really careful around my kids...but they've both had them. And I've even heard that HSV1 CAN become HSV2 if a person with an active sore engages in oral sex. Which has nothing whatsoever to do with this child, but it's a point for us adults to keep in mind.
Another idea that works for me...put ice on the sore at the first sign (and there is a tingling before you can see anything, so that might not help as much with a really little child who can't tell you). Ironically I'm sitting here right now with an ice cube wrapped in a cloth trying to prevent one from "blooming" - usually keeps them really small, anyway.
A cold sore is Herpes Simplex Virus 1... which is NOT and STD. Over half of the worlds population carries HSV1 and most never know it.
HSV2 is an STD.
Which in my 51 years with cold sores (Herpes Type 1) is the ONLY thing that makes them heal faster that I have ever found. If you catch the sore just as it's forming, it will go away in a few days.
I have had them so bad that I actually have scars from them. But Abreva helps.
It's not an STD, because it's not transmitted sexually. But it is contagious as all get out, and Lisa's right---it's important not to kiss the kids during an outbreak.
Just an update...
We ended up taking D to the doctor, because we weren't sure how to distinguish between his "cold sore" and the early stages of impetigo. We're glad we did because even the doctor said that at 2 years old there's really not a clear cut difference between early impetigo and a cold sore as far as appearance and HE could not even rule out impetigo. So, he put D on a topical antibiotic just in case. It still hasn't spread (its been over 48 hours) so we think its just HSV1 but, we'd rather be safe than have a houseful of people with impetigo.
AND, we did learn that there are no safe OTC treatments for children under 12 - so we're glad we found that out as well just in case he has ongoing problems with cold sores.
Thank you everyone for your helpful posts!
It sounds like your little one is experiencing his first cold sore. Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are caused by the herpes simplex virus and are common in young children.
To help alleviate your child's symptoms, it's important to keep the area clean and dry. You can apply a lip balm or petroleum jelly to the blister to keep it moisturized and to prevent cracking. It's also important to discourage your child from picking at the blister as this can prolong healing time and may lead to infection.