(Fever Blisters; Herpes Labialis; Herpes Stomatitis; Herpes Simplex)
DefinitionCold sores are small, painful, fluid-filled blisters. They are usually found at the border of the lip.
|Herpes Simplex on the Lips|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
CausesCold sores are caused by 2 types of herpes simplex viruses. Cold sores are common. In most cases, people contract the virus as young children.You may get the virus from:
- Contact with the fluid from a cold sore of another person, or genital herpes sores
- Contact with the eating utensils, razors, towels, or other personal items of a person with active cold sores
- Sharing food or drink with a person with active cold sores
- Contact with the saliva of a person who has the herpes virus even if no sores are present
Risk FactorsFactors that can reactivate the virus and lead to an outbreak of cold sores include:
- Infection, fever, cold, or other illness
- Exposure to sun
- Physical or emotional stress
- Certain drugs
- Weakened immune system
- Physical injury or trauma
- Dental or other oral surgery
SymptomsA cold sore occurs most often on the lips, but can occur in the mouth or other areas of the skin. They are small, painful sores that are fluid filled and red-rimmed blisters.You may notice some itching, tingling, or burning the day before a cold sore appears. The sores will dry up with a crust and shallow sore after a few days.
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