Dentist Questions Cold Sores

How can I treat cold sores in my child?

My son has cold sores, and I believe that he contracted this from his school. What is the best way to treat this? Do they go away on their own?

5 Answers

Cold sores are caused by a virus called Herpes Simplex. It lives within the nucleus of a skin cell and when the cell divides it replicates the virus. It has been called the "Kissing Disease" because often a mother who has an ulcer will kiss her child and transmit the virus which is highly contagious. There are medications such as acyclovir which are somewhat effective. Best to discuss with a dentist.
Topical anti-virals can be applied but they need to be caught at the early stage. There is often an initial tingling sensation before the ulcer breaks out. Treatment from this point on is palliative. These should resolve on their own in 1-2 weeks.
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They will go away on their own. For quick relief, a prescription for triamcinolone in orabase will stop the pain quickly and help promote healing.
Warm salt water rinses!
These will go away on their own however they can be quite painful and lead to ridicule from other children. There are prescription ointments and medications that can be used. You would need to see your dental professional for diagnosis and treatment as needed.