Fever blisters and oral herpes are some other names of toddler cold sores. It is a small water-filled blister that usually appears around the lips and mouth and seldom grows on the chin, near eyes, cheeks, and nose. But the good news is the blisters ordinarily begin to exude, then form a crust and heal completely in 1- 2 weeks.
Besides the name fever blister and cold sore genuinely have nothing to do with fever. But maybe it is called because of the burning feeling around the blisters.
Fever blisters are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and Genital herpes is caused by a herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Although, both viruses can produce sores in any part of the body.
Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1) is usually first exposed between ages 1 and 5 years of age.
Fever blister is highly spreadable
Fever blister virus is one of the highly contagious and spreadable viruses that can spread through saliva, direct contact, or indirect contact.
The first time fever blister sore is called primary HSVin medical term, in which the blisters often cover the area around lips to the mouth and gums. A toddler may also appear symptoms such as;
- Enlarged and tender lymph glands
- Sore throat
Often symptoms are so unclear that nobody may even notice any of them.
When will the HSV-1 cold sore become serious?
Usually, cold sores disappear in 1-2 weeks but if the symptoms get worse and recovery time extends more than 2 weeks it can expand to the eyes and cause an infection of the cornea;
- HSV Keratitis: This infection can heal without affecting the eye, but in severe cases, it is scarring and can affect the cornea or even cause blindness. HSV keratitis is one of the countable causes of blindness in the world.
- Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be spread from mouth to fingers and to the other parts of the body. Such as Children who suck their thumbs may transfer the infection from their mouths to their thumbs and the area where they touch on bodies.
- People who have a chronic skin condition called atopic dermatitis (eczema) are at higher risk of herpes simplex virus, which can spread all across their bodies. This can become an urgent need for a medical emergency.
Toddler cold sore becomes dangerous to babies less than 6 months of age. It is favorable instruction to family members or relatives with cold sores infection that they should be especially careful not to kiss and hug babies as their immune systems are not mature enough to fight this cruel virus.
Some indications that a baby may have been infected with herpes simplex virus- 1 include;
- Low-grade fever
- Irritability and burning on the blister site
- Small skin blisters.
When a child or person suffers from the first cold sore, the virus habitat in bunches of nerve cells in the body and produces no signs and symptoms unless its favorable environment stimulates.
Normally, kids may never suffer from another cold sore in their life but others may experience multiple outbreaks in a year or life depending on the immunity system.
The ever first signs include;
- Burning sensation where the cold sore pops out the skin.
The children keep touching, scratching, and even breaking the blister that starts to grow, swell and redden before sores form.
Favourable conditions for fever blisters
It is more possible to return or be infected again with the HSV-1 virus when the body’s immune system is compromised or the skin becomes irritated or intact from other causes. A person who suffers from HIV/AIDS, Atopic dermatitis (eczema), cancer chemotherapy, Anti-rejection drugs for organ transplants may have a high risk of development.
Favourable indications or triggers for children who were previously exposed to the virus includes
- Fatigue and stress
- High and long exposure to intense sunlight, heat, cold, or dryness
- When injuries get infected
- Illness such as cold or flu
- Poor diet
- Fluctuating hormones
What is the precaution that Parents should take care of
Still, there is no cure for cold sores except take care and wait for 1-2 weeks because they go away on their own. Some may take a little more prolonged time than others to recover. Parents or family can protect against the cold sores’ spread by following some precautions;
- Stop your child or infected person from scratching, touching, or picking at cold sores. This can spread the virus to other parts of the body such as fingers and eyes, and to other children by touching infected toys and other objects.
- Wash hands and clean toys continually.
- During a fever blister-infected duration, don’t let anyone share drinks or use utensils, towels, toothpaste, or any other infected items. And wash every item such as towels, utensils, and linens in hot water first before use.
- keeping infected people home if they ooze a lot or are having the very first HSV-1 outbreak.
- Make sure everything in homes i-e mats, rugs, and other pieces of home equipment are disinfected regularly after use.
Ways to cure cold sore
- Apply a warm washcloth to the sores to reduce your cold sore pain or burning.
- Massage with ice may give soothing to tender lips and can help in hydration.
- Don’t give acidic or citrus foods during a cold sore outbreak that can irritate cold sores.
- If HSV-1 blisters continue to hurt, itchy, or expend, especially if it hurts that he or she does not want to eat or drink because of mouth-pain; contact your doctor about a pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Or the doctor may also suggest an over-the-counter cream or a prescription antiviral cream to reduce cold sore symptoms and shorten outbreaks by a day or two.
How to avoid triggers in children?
Skin irritation and dehydration can bring on a cold sore outbreak, so be sure your kid uses lotion and a lip balm containing zinc oxide before heading outdoors. And keep skin hydrated.
Make sure a child takes enough sleep, exercise, and eats a good diet. Plus help a child to manage stress, which may also increase the chances of cold sore outbreaks.
When to see doctor/pediatrician
The doctor may recommend antiviral medicines to take on a regular basis if you contract HSV-1 sores more than nine times in a year or if you’re at high risk of serious complications. Here are some indications of when you should see a doctor;
- When your child first experiences fever blisters or known difficulty in fighting skin infections such as eczema.
- If a newborn produces a blister-like rash or fever or burning sensation around the rash area, this could be symptoms of a dangerous such as neonatal herpes simplex virus.
- If the sores or blisters spread to the eyes and cause corneal infections or blur vision.
- If someone suffers from a cold sore and also develops a headache, combined with confusion, seizure, or a high fever during a cold sore outbreak, which could be the signal of a dangerous brain infection caused by the virus, including meningitis or encephalitis.
- If the sores do not heal on their own within 10-14 days it may want to rule out a secondary bacterial infection and/or any other medical condition.
- The skin around fever blisters becomes reddened, swollen, or burns, This may also be the signs and symptoms of a secondary bacterial infection.
Infection also spreads to the bloodstream and causes sepsis, which can also be a concern for low immune systems weakened by certain diseases and medications.
- If your child gets cold sores again and again in a year you should see a doctor for a prescription.
HSV is a common viral infection agent. They are tiny, water-filled blisters on and around lips or chin. These blisters are sometimes arranged together in patches. Cold sores usually go away in 1-2 weeks without leaving a scar.
Fever blisters spread from person to person by close contact (direct or indirect contact). They are highly contagious even if you don’t see the sores.
Still, there is no cure for cold sores, except taking care and icing.