Cold sores are a nuisance full of pain and irritation. They can be very embarrassing, especially if you are to attend an important social gathering or business meeting. They present an ugly and awkward picture of you. The picture of a man or woman with herpes virus. And everyone knows that herpes virus spreads by contact and is incurable, so no one will offer to come near you.
Herpes labialis or cold sores: Caused by the herpes simplex virus, herpes labialis or cold sores or fever blisters, are highly infectious. They are mostly concentrated on the upper lip area and outer edge of the mouth. The virus can be contracted by anyone and outbreaks can be recurrent or happen once or twice in a lifetime, depending on an individual’s lifestyle. Herpes spreads through saliva, fluid secretion from sores, lesions infections or through kissing or sexual contact. Pregnant mothers can pass on their infections to unborn babies.
Zovirax for Herpes Labialis: Zovirax or acyclovir is an antiviral drug that slows the growth and spread of the herpes virus so that the body can fight off the infection. Prescribed in topical form (as a cream), Zovirax does not cure herpes. It only treats the existing outbreak, reducing the pain and inflammation and also prevents a possible near future outbreak.
How does Zovirax work? Zovirax contains an active antiviral ingredient called acyclovir. Acyclovir stops the herpes virus from spreading from one host cell to other normal cells. Acyclovir converts itself into a more active agent inside the infected cells of the body. Then, it blocks the action of an enzyme called DNA polymerase which copies the herpes virus’ genetic material from RNA to DNA. By blocking DNA polymerase, Zovirax prevents the multiplication and growth of the herpes virus. This allows the body to treat the existing outbreak and relieve the pain caused by cold sores.
How to apply Zovirax: Zovirax is one of the most effective cold sore medication available in the market. The FDA approved it in 2003, suggesting it in treatment of herpes virus and especially for cold sores. The cream needs to be applied five times a day for four days. The cream should be applied topically, on the infected area as a thin layer. Overdose can result in unwanted side effects. Zovirax can be applied as soon as one sees the signs of cold sore outbreaks (when the sore is still in its tingling-stage).
Zovirax side effects: When applied topically, side effects are minimal as it does not involve metabolism of the drug. Zovirax side effects include burning, stinging, irritation, itching, redness and skin allergy in the infected area. Mild drying or flaking of skin, flushing of skin, contact dermatitis are some other rare side effects. It is safe for pregnant mothers to use the topical cream as oral or injected form of the drug can result in passing of medication to the unborn baby.
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