What is a cold sore?

Most often cold sores occur on or around the mouth. A cold sore is the most common viral infection and is caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus – type 1 (HSV-1).

HSV-1 is also called the cold sore virus. The virus is contagious from the first tingle until the cold sore is completely cured. Read more do’s and dont’s on what to do with a cold sore.

A cold sore is marked by a fluid filled blister that makes the skin red and swollen. The blisters of the cold sore are often very painful. When these blisters are filled with liquid, the first layer is very sensitive. Rubbing/touching it can lead to a nasty infection. If a cold sore treatment is applied in time, the chance of scarring decreases.

In most cases the blisters have the ability to recover. Unlike most viruses, the HSV-1 penetrates enters and never leave your body.

  1. Herpes simplex virus. World Health Organization. (2016, January). Retrieved April 27, 2016, from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs400/en/
  2. Oral Herpes. American Sexual Health Association. (n.d.). Retrieved April 28, 2016, from http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/stdsstis/herpes/oral-herpes/