It is hard to describe the stages of cold sores. There are a number of factors that can contribute to this. There are a number of things that happen when the cold sore is developing, but none of them will explain the stages or what they mean. You have to understand the entire virus and how it works in order to understand the stages of cold sores.
There are different stages of cold sores because there are different kinds of viruses that cause them. Each stage is a sign that you have reached a new level of infection. There are some common factors that are present in all of the stages of this disease, but there are also minor variations that occur along the way. This is why treatment can be so difficult because it can easily become confused with other problems. If you are able to determine what stage your cold sores currently are, the problem can be easier to treat.
The first stage of cold sores is similar to the beginning stages of the flu: an upper respiratory infection. A lot of people think that this is a cold sore herpes simplex virus because they have had an outbreak prior to this. The herpes simplex virus does not develop until somewhere between two and twenty days after a breakout. At this point, the sore has usually dried up enough for you to be able to see it. It can have a very distinctive appearance, especially if it is on the mouth. This is the stage where most people think their outbreak is over.
However, if you do not get rid of your cold sores in this period of time, the infection could come back. There are a number of different ways for it to return, so it is important to eliminate any possibility before you have another breakout. The second stage of the cold sores stages is similar, but a bit less obvious. If you do not get rid of your fever blisters in this time frame, it could lead to scarring.
The third stage of the cold sores stages takes a while longer than the second or third stages. If the outbreak was bad enough, it may cause a secondary infection. This is caused by the same bacteria as the original infection, but in a different part of the body. This can cause complications such as reoccurring infections or a chronic infection that will not be fully understood.
The last stage of the cold sores stage occurs after the initial breakout. At this point, there will be small fluid filled blisters. These are actually a good thing because they provide a way for the bacteria to start breaking down the layers of your skin and scar tissue. The longer the blisters remain open, the more times the bacteria can feed on your skin tissue and create scars. As long as the blisters are open, they can last up to five days before rupturing.