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Cold Sores

What causes cold sores?

Cold sores (also known as fever blisters) are caused by the virus known as the herpes simple virus (HSV). HSV are categorized into two types; HSV I and HSV II. Both types may cause lip sore, mouth sore and genital herpes. However, cold sores are commonly caused by type HSV I.

As cold sores are triggered by a virus, it is contagious and can spread from one person to another.

The virus usually enters the body through a cut or a break in the skin inside the mouth or around the mouth area. The virus is transfered from an individual to another by close contact and kissing. It can also be trasmitted when a person touches a cold sore by sharing infected eating utensils or razors. After the trasmission, blisters will appear which will then break open after a matter of hours or days. Cold sores can be very painful which may last for some days to 2 weeks.

Individuals who are infected with cold sores may also pass the infection to his or her child.

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