What causes cold sores and how do I get rid of it?

A viral infection. Most cold sores are caused by the oral variety of the herpes virus. Once exposed to the virus, typically as a child, it never completely goes away. It flares up occasionally and causes sores which last from 7-10 days before healing. It tends to flare up when your immune system is down already, like after a cold, or lack of sleep, or times of stress. Topical antiviral creams can shorten the time.
Stress & virus. Cold sores are typically caused by a virus that lives in the nerves.Stress, or colds can cause cold sores to erupt because they both lower your immune system. The best way to treat them is to begin treatment as soon as you notice the "tingling" feeling before the break out. Daily lysine supplements may help. Daily anti-viral medicines will also help.
HSV. Cold sores are. Caused by herpes simplex virus (hsv) and usually one catches it from kissing an infected person, eating utensils or touching that person's saliva. Usually form around mouth on lips and looks like small blisters. Currently laser treatment can cut the viruses cycle from 14 days to less than 5 or 6 days. Ask your dentist about the laser treatment, it has worked great on my patients.
Herpes simplex. Once you get this virus it stays with you the rest of your life. Comes out when you have other infections, under stress, or for no good reason. If frequent you can reduce frequency and severity with antivirals. See a doctor.
TOT. Tincture of time! 7-10 days duration. Some anti- viral drugs can decrease symptoms and duration somewhat. Don't forget too much sun is a primary stressor that causes flare ups! alway protect lips when out for a day in the sun!