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Last Updated: Jan 10, 2023

Cold Sores - What Causes Them?

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Dr. Niraj GoenkaDermatologist • 19 Years Exp.MD - Dermatology, MBBS
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Cold sores are also known as fever blisters. They are surely not something a person would want to have. These sores occur on the face of the person or even inside his or her mouth. They are lesions which appear like blisters. There is a lot of pain which is caused by cold sores. Eventually, they end by bursting and then crusting over. But, what really causes cold sores to form?

The condition of cold sores is something that is attributable to the HSV, or the Herpes Simplex Virus. The type 1 variety of this virus is said to cause cold sores in the region around the mouth. The cause of contracting this form of the virus is that a person may have shared utensils with a person who has this strain or even shared towels.

Learning about the HSV
That being said, there is a possibility that cold sores could also be caused by the HSV Type 2 virus. This would be the case if the person with cold sores has had oral sex with a person who has been infected with genital herpes.

When it comes to the Herpes Simplex Virus, it can be said that managing the consequent issue that cold sores present is something which is quite challenging. This is because of the fact that a person may not even be aware that he or she has been infected by the virus on account of it lying dormant.

In some people, an outbreak may occur once a year while in others it may occur with a much greater frequency. The point is that the occurrence of the outbreak may vary from person to person and a generalisation cannot be made.

  • One of the things that have been noticed is that the likelihood of an outbreak is increased if a person is under sustained stress.
  • Sadness or an injury to the area can also worsen the prospects of a person who is hoping to go for as long a period without being plagued by cold sores.

In order to manage the outbreak of cold sores, advice from a person who is a qualified medical professional is something that is required. On their own, cold sores usually do not take more than 10 days to clear out. In order to reduce the likelihood of another attack, it is important to minimise an excessive exposure to sunlight and to be very careful at the times of seasonal changes. When it comes to the contagiousness of cold sores, the threat is the most when the cold sores are oozing.  In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!


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