We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Cold sores are small, fluid-filled blisters that usually appear on or around the lips and mouth. They can appear on their own or in small clusters. In most cases, the blisters will break, creating a scab that eventually falls off. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 HSV
Back to Health A to Z. Cold sores are common and usually clear up on their own within 10 days. But there are things you can do to help ease the pain. Cold sores should start to heal within 10 days, but are contagious and may be irritating or painful while they heal. Some people find that certain things trigger a cold sore, such as another illness, sunshine or menstrual periods. Cold sores are contagious from the moment you first feel tingling or other signs of a cold sore coming on to when the cold sore has completely healed. If you regularly get cold sores, use antiviral creams as soon as you recognise the early tingling feeling.
Infection with herpes simplex virus, commonly known as herpes, can be due to either herpes simplex virus type 1 HSV-1 or herpes simplex virus type 2 HSV HSV-1 is mainly transmitted by oral-to-oral contact to cause infection in or around the mouth oral herpes. HSV-1 is a highly contagious infection, that is common and endemic throughout the world. Most HSV-1 infections are acquired during childhood, and infection is lifelong.
Basic Fact Sheet Detailed Version. Basic fact sheets are presented in plain language for individuals with general questions about sexually transmitted diseases. The content here can be syndicated added to your web site. Genital herpes is an STD caused by two types of viruses. Oral herpes is usually caused by HSV-1 and can result in cold sores or fever blisters on or around the mouth.