What Exactly is a Cold Sore?


Most people find the connection between herpes and cold sores to be very alarming, but it is not.  There are two types of herpes simplex virus, HSV-1 and HSV-2.  HSV-1 usually causes cold sores and is found in most people.  HSV-2 usually causes genital herpes and is much more rare.  Sometimes HSV-2 does cause mouth herpes and HSV-1 can cause genital herpes, but it is uncommon and not seen very often.

The HSV-1 virus is usually transmitted through contact with a contaminated fluid such as kissing, or it can spread through sneezing, coughing, or touching a cold sore.  The HSV-1 virus is often spread from parent to child when the child comes in contact with an item that a parent with a cold sore has touched or used.   The first time a person is infected with the HSV-1 virus is called the primary herpetic stomatitis and usually does not result in a cold sore.  The virus can lie dormant for many years.  Most people come into contact with the HSV-1 virus by the time they are five years old but do not get their first cold sore until after puberty. 

Cold sores usually go away on their own over the course of a week to ten days.  They do not leave scars and often do not recur for many years.  The cold sores often burst open after a few days and expel a clear fluid before drying up and disappearing. 

For some people, cold sores are too painful or embarrassing to be left alone to simply disappear independently.  For these people, there are OTC and prescription medicines to speed up the healing process. Cold sores are a painful nuisance that nearly everyone experiences.  There is no prevention for cold sores, but there are many treatments available to make the experience as easy as possible.

How useful was this post?

Related Interesting Posts:

Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

Losing weight will keep you healthy and have a long life. Cheer Up!

Leave a Reply