The Prevention and Treatment of Canker Sores, Cold Sores, Shingles (Herpes Zoster) and Other Herpetic Skin Lesions

Canker sores, cold sores, chronic shingles involve the herpes viruses. Herpes simplex virus type one (HSV-1), commonly affects the mouth and throat, as with canker and cold sores, although not all canker sore problems are due to herpes infections. Herpes simplex virus type two (HSV-2) usually affects the genital areas. The herpes virus that causes shingles is the same herpes virus that causes chicken pox in younger individuals. Once a person is infected through skin contact the herpes virus travels up the nerve until it reaches the nerve ganglion (collection of nerve cells in the spinal cord). It remains there in a dormant state, but on occasion the virus starts replicating again and travels down the nerve to the skin where it produces skin eruptions. The virus is thought to be a permanent fixture that resides within the nerve ganglion for a lifetime, even though it may remain dormant for long periods.

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