U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 29-year-old member asked:

What is the cause of cold sores?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 34 years experience
Herpes virus, return: Cold sores on the lips or near the lips, are usually caused by recurrent oral herpes virus. They start as a slightly raised reddish area, then form a cluster of tiny blisters, which break open soon, leaving a sore (ulcer) to heal up over a week. Sores appear more often when one is under stress or is ill from another illness. Younger babies with herpes should see a doctor when a sore appears.
Dr. Steve Krendl
18 years experience
Direct Contact: Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (hsv). They are typically transmitted through broken skin. Sometimes through kissing, sharing eating utensils or drinking cups, or other forms of touching another person's saliva.

Similar questions

Prattville, AL
A 40-year-old female asked:

What causes cold sores?

11 doctor answers30 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Miller
Dr. David Milleranswered
Family Medicine 11 years experience
Herpes virus: Cold sores are typically caused by the type i herpes virus. It is very common and distinct from genital herpes, which is typically caused by the type ii herpes virus, although there is some overlap between the two.
Dr. David Miller
Dr. David Miller commented
Family Medicine 11 years experience
Provided original answer
It's such a common th
Feb 29, 2012
A 49-year-old female asked:

What can cause consrant cold sores?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Fisher
Dermatology 33 years experience
Cold Sores: Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (hsv). There are two types of herpes simplex virus: hsv-1 and hsv-2. Both virus types can cause sores around the mouth (herpes labialis) and on the genitals (genital herpes). Treatment can be with suppressive doses of prescription valtrex, (valacyclovir) 500mg to 1000mg a day.
NY
A female asked:

Why causes multiple cold sores at once?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Dinh Bui
Dr. Dinh Buianswered
Dentistry 24 years experience
Herpetic lesion: Small, multiple cold sores is the cause of herpetic lesion, and should be treated with antiviral medication.
A 43-year-old member asked:

What are the causes of cold sores and what can be done for it?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Media Najafi
Dentistry 23 years experience
Laser: Canker sores or aphatous ulcers have no know cause except they are triggered by trauma, stress, spicy, citrus food. Not everyone gets them though. They are recurring and even though there are some medication that help cut the cycle down from 14 days, I am a big proponent of laser treatment . Recent studies have shown laser treatment of the area can stop the pain immediately and cut the cycle
Dr. Martin Wodi
A Verified Doctor commented
A US doctor answered Learn more
Cold sores and Aphthous ulcers are not the same thing. Cold sores are caused by a secondary reactivation of the Herpes simplex (mainly type 1) virus infection and usually afflict the corners of the lips and the vermilion border of the lips as multiple vesicles which soon rupture and ulcerate to cause pain. Aphthous ulcers, also called canker sores, on the other hand afflict the soft and hard palate of the buccal cavity as painful cratered ulcers. The cause of Aphthous ulcers is not fully understood but is thought to have an immunologic basis with higher incidence seen in patients with autoimmune conditions such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohns disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Oct 2, 2012
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Pediatrics 51 years experience
Agree with Dr. Wodi
Oct 2, 2012
A 35-year-old member asked:

Can sex cause cold sores?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kim Capehart
Dentistry 21 years experience
Yes - oral sex: One of the most common sexually transmitted diseases situations that can occur is the transmission of herpes related cold sores to the genital area.

Related questions

A 43-year-old member asked:
1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
A 45-year-old member asked:
1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
A 48-year-old member asked:
1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
A 31-year-old member asked:
1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Last updated Jan 26, 2015

People also asked

Connect with a U.S. board-certified doctor by text or video anytime, anywhere.
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership

Disclaimer:

Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.