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Cold Sores

What are cold sores?

Cold sores are the consequence of a viral infection, normally in childhood. They usually appear on the lips and nostrils but can be more widespread.

How do you catch cold sores?

You can catch cold sores by:

  • Directly touching a cold sore
  • Kissing someone with a cold sore
  • Sharing household objects such as towels, cups and cutlery

What Are The Symptoms?

  • The first signs are usually tingling, burning or itching.
  • Within 24 hours painful blisters form. Blisters breakdown into shallow ulcers after a few days.
  • Cold sores are infectious from the early tingling stage up to the end of the ulcer phase.

Healing is normally complete in 10 to 14 days. In children cold sores can become infected with bacteria and develop impetigo.


Why do they keep coming back?

After the first infection, the virus lies dormant in the nerve that supplies the infected area.

The virus can be reactivated at any time and cause another cold sore.

Various trigger factors are:

  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Strong sunlight
  • UV light from sun beds
  • Menstruation or pregnancy
  • Generally when feeling run-down

Our Advice

If you have a cold sore, wash your hands thoroughly if you accidentally touch it.

Do not:

  • Touch the cold Sore
  • Touch your eyes during the infection
  • Kiss (especially children) when you have the infection
  • Pick the ulcers or the scab. You will infect your fingers with the virus
  • Share eating/drinking utensils with others, especially children
  • Share the same towels or face cloths with others in your family
  • Consider rescheduling your dental appointment when a cold sore is present if non urgent as it may cause discomfort during treatment

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Because we are a family run practice with patient care at the heart of everything we do.

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What Our Patients Say About Us


  • Having recently had serious tooth ache I managed to get booked into El Nashar, and I can honestly say from start to finish I was well looked after. I was seen by Victoria and Mary and they both made me feel calm and relaxed even though I was in tremendous pain. And a special thanks to Tiffany who helped me with booking more appointments and also gave me the relevant information I needed for my health insurance. All round fantastic service. What a team!!

    Matthew King - See Google Reviews

  • I joined El Nashar at the beginning of this year, everyone I have come into contact with has been so friendly. I have been very impressed both with the staff and also the equipment in the surgery. To date, I have seen one of the hygienists Fran and my new dentist Veronica both have been excellent and very thorough. Special call out also to Vanessa on reception, today who was very helpful in rearranging some appointments.

    Jane Slater - See Google Reviews

  • A huge thank you to Jo for giving me my smile and confidence back! From the initial consultation through to having my implant I have been amazed at the high level of treatment and care I have received. Jo found solutions to every obstacle I faced and the outcome is better than I could of imagined. My many questions and worries were answered with empathy and understanding by both Katherine and Tiffany. Thank you all for being outstanding!

    kayleigh vowles - See Google Reviews


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