Cold Sores – Prodrome

October 28, 2009 by admin 

You may have read the word prodrome in connection with herpes. This is a phase of herpes outbreak. Let us find out about prodrome phase and also how knowing about this phase can help us in reducing the severity of the outbreak. Herpes of both types- Cold sores and Genital Herpes is caused by herpes virus. Virus type HSV1 causes Cold sores. It is interesting to understand the behavior of this virus. When you get infected with this virus it does not cause sores immediately. It travels to the base of your intestine and stays there. After some days of getting infected, the virus begins multiplying and travels to the mouth area. Here it causes cold sores. This is the first outbreak after getting infected.  After this outbreak is over, the virus travels back to the base of the spine. It then gets triggers after sometime and travels back to the skin and causes sores again. So we can say that it travels back and forth between two areas- skin near the mouth and the base of the spine.  How does prodrome phase come into picture of all this? What happens is this. When the virus reaches the skin, it begins multiplying for a day or two and then creates the outbreak. So you have a phase of a day or two when the virus is present on the skin but has not caused any outbreak. This period is called prodrome. You can know about this phase because during this period most often the skin may tingle, itch or pain. That is the sign that outbreak will occur very soon. If you begin your medication during this phase you may reduce the severity and duration of the outbreak to a great extent. Secondly once you know that you are in the prodrome phase avoid all types of contacts with others, especially sexual otherwise you may infect your partner. Keep a watch over this phase and you will be able to reduce the discomfort caused by Cold sores to a great extent.


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