U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 38-year-old female asked:

Can you transmit cold sores via inanimate objects (toys, shirt collars)? if you don't wash hands, touch something and a toddler then touches it?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Susanne Gee
Dermatology 27 years experience
No: Scientific studies confirm that a person can only receive this virus via skin to skin contact with someone who has this virus (herpes).
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 26 years experience
Yes: Cold sores can be spread by touching cold sores (for instance if person with cold sore touches it with their hand - the herpes simplex virus can be spread further from there), kissing, sharing glasses, silverwear, toothbrushes or other personal items.
Last updated Oct 23, 2018


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.