Question: What are cold sores? I get one every few months, and I hate them, because they look so ugly.
Cold sores are caused by a virus.
About a quarter of the population is susceptible to this condition, while the rest of us are immune. Once the virus is contracted, it settles in the tissue around the lips, nostrils and other areas of sensitive skin. At times when the body’s resistance is lowered, the virus will start rapidly reproducing and an itchy, painful, blistery and later weeping sore will develop. Eventually this dries out and heals, but while in the blistery stage, the virus can be spread to other people in the community.
There are ointments that can be used (eg. Zovirax) in the very early stages of a cold sore to prevent it from developing further. Once the sore is established, only soothing and drying preparations can assist in healing the sore. Tablets are available to prevent cold sores, but these are very expensive, available only on prescription, and must be taken all the time.
Question: What causes a venous lake to appear on the lip? Can it be removed without leaving a scar?
An injury from a blow, bite or burn may damage the lip tissue and allow blood to accumulate under the fine skin on the lip, or any other part of the body. They are caused by the rupture of a very small vein near the surface of the skin, while the skin over it remains intact. Blood leaks out of the vein and accumulates as a dark blue blob under the skin.
They are easily removed by bursting the venous lake with the tip of a needle that has been sterilized by holding it in a flame or soaking in antiseptic. The blood will rapidly come out through the hole made, and healing will occur very quickly, with no scarring, particularly on the lip, which is probably the best healing part of the whole body.