Doctor insights on:
Scientific Name For Cold Sores
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?
Virus reactivation: Cold sores are caused by reactivation of a latent ("sleeping") virus in the nerves that supply sensation to the inside of the mouth. This is a "herpes" virus, but is most often not the same virus as the one that causes genital herpes. After contracting the virus from someone else's oral cavity, the virus can be reactivated by various triggers, including a common cold or other stressors. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Herpes simplex: Real cold sores, which usually occur on the edge of the lips, are caused by herpes simplex virus. This is contagious by touch, and that is touching anywhere. So if you have active cold sores, you need to practice good handwashing anytime you might have touched the sore. Unfortunately, you can also spread them when you don't even have an active sore, in your saliva. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
A lip ulceration: "cold sores" are a laymen's term for herpes labialis. This is a viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1. An alternative name for the condition is a "fever blister". It is often painful, but not always, may become crusty and is contagious. The condition usually resolves within two weeks but may reside as a life-long virus. Prompt topical and oral treatment may prevent eruption. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
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