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Ziagen (Abacavir Sulfate)

Cold sores, which appear on the outside of lips, come from a type of herpes virus chemically distinct from the genital sort. Most people develop immunities to cold sores as young children. But for some unknown reason 33 percent of us never acquire those immunities, meaning occasional cold sore outbreaks as adults. We’re not catching a new virus; rather, the old virus lies dormant in a facial nerve until something—stress, sunlight, certain foods, fever, a cold—weakens the body’s defenses, causing the sore to rear its ugly, oozing head.
Many know an outbreak is imminent when a tingling sensation in the mouth begins, usually 24 to 36 hours before the sore erupts in blisters about half the size of a pencil eraser. The blisters swell and rupture, oozing colorless fluid that forms a yellowish crust. The pain from a bursting blister can match that of a hard bite to your lip.
Like cold sores, canker sores usually pop up the day o a hot date, big meeting or crucial exam, but thankfully, they’re a lot less visible. They lurk inside the mouth on wet, moist surfaces, most often on the tongue, soft palate and inner cheek.
Canker sores usually begin as tiny blisters or painful red spots. Within a couple days the blister becomes an inflamed, woundlike ulcer. Exposed nerve endings in the canker sore are irritated by whatever in the mouth is salty, sour or scratchy— spicy dogs, cherry Slurpees, salted peanuts—and the contact can cause excruciating pain for some. “Some people have a pinpoint on their tongue and they complain so much you’d think they’d had major surgery,” said Louis Abbey, D.M.D., professor of oral pathology at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry in Richmond. “Others have a mouthful of sores and they say they don’t hurt too badly.”
To prevent both canker and cold sores, doctors recommend reducing stress in your life. “People free of stress hardly ever get canker or cold sores,” Dr. Abbey notes. He recommends devising a stress management program—preventing sores is just one of many health benefits that could result.

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