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Doctor insights on: Can Genital Herpes Cause Cold Sores

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Does the same virus that causes genital herpes cause cold sores?

Does the same virus that causes genital herpes cause cold sores?

Herpes Transmission: Herpes simplex virus (hsv) has two types: type i generally infects the mouth and produces "fever blisters". Type ii more commonly is genital. However, performing oral sex on someone infected with hsv i or ii can result in oral herpes. There are blood tests that can quickly determine if you've been infected with either strain. Antivirals help to reduce shedding and infection. ...Read more

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Reproductive Organs (Definition)

The major organs of the reproductive system includes, the external genitalia (penis and vulva) as well as a number of internal organs including the gamete producing gonads (testicles and ovaries). Diseases of the human reproductive system are very common and widespread, particularly ...Read more


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I learned cold sores are caused by herpes. Is it the same forms as genital herpes?

I learned cold sores are caused by herpes.  Is it the same forms as genital herpes?

Can be type 1 or 2: Cold sores on or near the lips are due to recurrence of herpes type 1 or 2. Herpes viruses, after the initial infection, live in a person's nerves and travel down the nerves to the surface to form blisters that break open, spreading more virus. Type 1 is more common on the lips, and type 2 more common on the genitals. With people engaging in oral sex, either type can be in one or both locations. ...Read more

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Can cold sores be spread to the genital area? Is it possible for someone with cold sores to cause genital herpes in another person?

Can cold sores be spread to the genital area? Is it possible for someone with cold sores to cause genital herpes in another person?

Yes, : Yes, it is possible. Cold sores or fever blisters are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (hsv-1) and are extremely common. Most people become infected as an infant or small child when kissed or by sharing eating utensils with an adult who has the virus. 20% of the cases of genital herpes are also caused by hsv-1 thought to be infections from oral-genital contact. The virus is most contagious when someone has a cold sore, but can still be passed along by someone who does not. Many people do not even know that they are infected because the virus can "hide out" in the nerve cells for very long periods of time - for some people it hides out forever and they never get a cold sore. For others, the virus can "wake up" at any time and that's when a cold sore happens. No one knows exactly what causes a cold sore to appear - sometimes stress, illness, fevers, colds, sunlight, cold weather, menstruation, certain foods, allergies, you name it! they usually last 7-10 days and are more of an annoyance than a danger unless you have a weakened immune system or contract a bacterial infection on top of the cold sore. Legal disclaimer: I am providing this general and basic information as a public service and my response to this question does not constitute a doctor-patient relationship. For any additional information, advice, or specific concerns, please speak with your own physician. The information provided is current as of the date of the answer entry. ...Read more

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Can cold sores go from your lips to down below and cause genital herpes?

Can cold sores go from your lips to down below and cause genital herpes?

It has happened: Sometimes herpes type i (cold sores) has been transmitted to the genitals. However it remains type i and does not morph into herpes type ii. ...Read more

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Do cold sores on the mouth also cause genital herpes?

Possible: Cold sore is cause by hsv i while genital herpes is usually caused by hsv ii. Could a cold sore cause genital herpes? It would be possible if the sore is actively shedding virus during oral sex. With cold sore, avoid contact until the lesion is healed over. ...Read more

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Can lip picking with no cold sores cause genital herpes?

No: Once someone has been infected with herpes more than a few months, the virus they is not transmitted to other body areas. Even with active cold sores, herpes is never transmitted to a person's own genital area. Don't worry about it. ...Read more

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Can lip picking if you have no cold sores and wiping down there after peeing cause genital herpes?

Can lip picking if you have no cold sores and wiping down there after peeing cause genital herpes?

No: Although there is often herpes virus in the mouth without lesions, there just isnt that much carried down there that way. It needs to be direct contact. ...Read more

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Can herpes that causes innocent oral fever blisters & cold sores be sexually transited to someone else as genital herpes?

Can herpes that causes innocent oral fever blisters & cold sores be sexually transited to someone else as genital herpes?

Herpes - HSV1 & HSV2: Yes - unfortunately there can be cross over between the 2 different types of herpes. These viruses are always adapting and looking for 'new opportunities' and although traditionally, HSV-1 kept to the mouth/nose and HSV-2 kept to the genital tract, there can be 'back and forth' transmission of these viruses in susceptible patients. This is a reminder to keep ALL safe sex practices in mind! ...Read more

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Follow up: dr. Raff -- you said that canker sores do not cause genital herpes. Are canker sores herpes simplex 1 just like a cold sore?

Follow up:  dr. Raff -- you said that canker sores do not cause genital herpes. Are canker sores herpes simplex 1 just like a cold sore?

Canker sores: Aphthous stomatitis is not due to herpes simplex. Dr. Namey and dr. Perkins have provided excellent advice and would read these carefully. The location of the herpetic lesions (oral v. Genital) no longer is specific for types 1;2. Cold sores may be herpetic, but not canker sores. ...Read more

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Could I have genital herpes from cold sores?

Could I have genital herpes from cold sores?

In a word, yes: Most associate type 1 with lesions near the lips and type 2 with genital lesions. However, either type can be found at both locations. Transfer of the germ to a specific site is an active process and germs can be shedding from a site with no visible sores. ...Read more

Herpes (Definition)

There are different types of herpes infections; herpes simplex infection of mouth (gingivostomatitis) and lips (labialis) are the most common. Others include genital herpes, and herpes zoster. Herpes infection could very mild to very dangerous depending on the type and location of the body affected. I ...Read more


Dr. David Kurss
323 doctors shared insights

Genital Herpes (Definition)

A skin and mucous membrane infection of the soft tissues of the genitals, either male or female. It is caused by a virus called herpes simplex and transmitted person to person by direct contact. It produces small blister-like lesions which break down and form shallow ulcers which are ...Read more