Cold sores on lips are the most common manifestation of the Herpes Simplex 1 virus, or HSV 1. It is one of two types of the Herpes Simplex virus. The Herpes Simplex 2 virus is the cause of genital herpes, a sexually transmitted disease.
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Both types of Herpes Simplex cause recurring outbreaks of painful, pus-filled blisters in an infected area that burst after a while and then form into scabs before disappearing, usually without a trace, until some factor, normally a weakened immune system, triggers another outbreak. Sometimes, a cold sore outbreak will be accompanied by fever, which is why cold sores are also called fever blisters. An outbreak typically lasts from 10 days to two weeks.
How Do You Get Cold Sores On Your Lips?
The Herpes Simplex virus is so contagious and is so common that it is estimated that up to 80 percent of all persons are infected by it. This is because the virus is so easily passed on through direct contact. This is why many people are infected right from childhood, although there also known cases of a pregnant mother passing on the Herpes Simplex virus to the child in the womb.
And, unfortunately, once you have it, it never goes away. After an outbreak ends, the virus lays dormant in the nerves under your skin, waiting for the right condition to trigger another outbreak.
In fact, the virus is so contagious that, when an outbreak occurs, it is possible to infect other parts of your body by simply touching an infected area. Thus, while the lips are the area where cold sores normally occur, touching the cold sores on lips can spread the infection to your fingers and other body parts that you touch, and vice versa. And even HSV 2 can be transferred to other parts of the body, typically through oral sex and kissing.
An outbreak of cold sores on lips can cause excruciating pain, making it difficult to eat or even drink properly. This is especially risky in children since it can lead to dehydration. And sometimes, cold sore outbreaks can even form fever blisters on tongue or inside the mouth.
Fortunately, while there still is no cure for cold sores or the HSV 1 virus, there are many known home remedies for cold sores that can effectively shorten the duration of an outbreak or even limit the recurrence of cold sore outbreaks. Read more…