What causes fever blisters?
A fever blister located on the lips, mouth, and face is usually caused by the highly contagious herpes simplex type 1 virus. Only a small number are caused by herpes simplex type 2, the type usually associated with genital lesions.
There is no cure for a fever blister. However, there are medications that will relieve the pain and itchiness, and speed the healing of the blister.
See: Herpes labialis (oral herpes simplex)
Reader: I got a bad sun burn and now it's painful. How can I tell if it's just a regular sunburn or if it's sun poisoning?
Sunburns are never good news. Not only do they leave you red-faced and stinging, but they often leave lasting damage. Sun poisoning may seem much more serious, but it's essentially the same thing. In medical terms, sun poisoning and sunburn are both referred to as photodermatitis, your skin's allergic reaction to overexposure to the sun.
In the case of sun poisoning, however, the reaction is a bit more severe and the symptoms may become seriously uncomfortable. A typical sunburn involves itching, redness, and peeling. Severe sunburns may also be accompanied by small blisters that may lead to infection. Symptoms of sun poisoning also tend to include nausea, fever, headache, and dizziness and may also be accompanied by fluid loss and electrolyte imbalance.
If your symptoms are limited to mild discomfort, treat your skin the way you would treat a...
Read the accompanying comic!
I am a warm-weather girl. I was born and raised at the beach, and in the sun is where I prefer to be (wearing sunscreen and a hat, of course). I was also raised in the South where the inevitable humid days can be sweltering and even a little miserable. Nonetheless, I much prefer the misery of being hot to the misery of being cold and will take a hot, humid day over a cold, bone-chilling one any day of the week. There is only circumstance where my love of all things hot stops short: fevers. When rheumatoid arthritis first began its assault on me a couple of years ago, one of my most persistent symptoms was feeling flushed and feverish. I remember reading about this after my diagnosis, and the fatigue and fevers were often described as ‘feelings of malaise.’ This fancy description always evoked romantic images of old movies where the ingénue lays on her chaise lounge, suffering valiantly from some vague but pitiful ...
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