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Doctor insights on: Herpes Simplex Sores

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How are cold sores (herpes simplex) and canker sores different?

How are cold sores (herpes simplex) and canker sores different?

Canker vs Cold Sore: Here is a great comprehensive answer to your question: http://www.Uhs.Umich.Edu/coldcankersores. ...Read more

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Dr. Heidi Fowler
1,016 doctors shared insights

Cold Sore (Definition)

Also referred to as fever blisters, cold sores are small, painful fluid-filled blisters that are usually found around the lips. Cold sores are generally caused by the herpes simplex virus 1 which is related to herpes simplex virus 2 that causes genital herpes. Cold sores are very contagious and can be spread by mouth to mouth contact. They can spread to the genitalia and cause genital ...Read more


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I have herpes simplex type 1 ( cold sores ) not responding to Acyclovir is there an alternative ?

I have herpes simplex type 1 ( cold sores ) not responding to Acyclovir is there an alternative ?

See a dermatologist: Acyclovir is effective orally, not topically. Must be used at prodrome or daily to be effective. Your dose may be too small. Valacyclovir is much more effective, used at 2 gram dose at prodrome: as soon as you feel the first tingling. Repeat once in 12 hours. Chapstick with sunscreen helps reduce frequency. Lysine is useless. Topicals do very little. ...Read more

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My mom and younger sister (no other siblings) both get cold sores (herpes simplex). I have never had one, am i at a lower risk of getting herpes?

My mom and younger sister (no other siblings) both get cold sores (herpes simplex).  I have never had one, am i at a lower risk of getting herpes?

No: It just means you haven't contracted the virus. When they have an outbreak, avoid direct contact and don't share spoons, cups, or toothbrushes. It doesn't mean you won't ever get one. But you can limit your risks. ...Read more

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What type of herpes simplex virus causes cold sores?

What type of herpes simplex virus causes cold sores?

Type 1 more common: 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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I am having cold sores (herpes simplex 1) from a blood transfusion as an infant in 1980?

I am having cold sores (herpes simplex 1) from a blood transfusion as an infant in 1980?

Other sources: 80-90% of all adults are positive for the antibodies against herpes simplex 1, meaning they have had an active infection sometime in the past. Given these really high numbers for the general population, one does not need to invoke that a blood transfusion that happened as an infant was the cause. ...Read more

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Do you know are cold sores/herpes simplex considered an STD and how can I get rid of it?

Do you know are cold sores/herpes simplex considered an STD and how can I get rid of it?

Herpes Simplex 1: Is usually associated w cold sores (oral) but could be transmitted to genital area. You can't cure it. Your doctor can prescribe valtrex (valacyclovir). Melissa officinalis or lemon balm (cream) has been shown in european studies to help expedite cold sore healing. It can reduce healing time by 1/2. Studies also show regular use can help v recurrences. Brief supplementation w lysine 1, 000mg orally 3x a day at >. ...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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Do you know are canker sores related to herpes simplex type 1?

Not related: Cold sores are caused by herpes simplex type 1 virus. Canker sore cause is not well understood, but not beleived to be viral in origin. ...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. Heidi Fowler
1,071 doctors shared insights

Herpes Simplex (Definition)

Herpes simplex is a virus that causes a blistering skin rash. Herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 usually causes cold sores in the mouth but can infect other organs such as the eye and the brain. HSV type 2 ...Read more