Tag Archives: Cold Sores

Oral herpes or cold sores – what are you living with?

Herpes, a sexually transmitted infection cause by the herpes simplex virus affects 1 in 5 persons in the United States. With no cure in sight, once you’re affected with the virus, you have it forever. However, there are multitudinous ways by which you can control the frequency and severity of the outbreaks.

Oral Herpes

According to official figures, more than 50 percent of the American adult population is living with oral herpes, a sexually transmitted infection that is incurable. The infection is caused by the herpes simplex virus – 1, popularly termed HSV – 1. While it has been claimed that HSV – 1 is transmitted through oral sex, most people get it on coming in physical contact with the virus, such as in the event of getting a kiss from a friend or relative.

The condition is also referred to as “cold sores” or “fever blisters”. The symptoms associated with this variant of herpes usually appear around or on the lips but it isn’t limited to this area. Some people have also experienced such symptoms inside the nose. It is due to such instances that oral herpes has been renamed as oral – facial herpes. HSV – 1 is asymptomatic in nature, which means the virus has the tendency of spreading even when there are no visible symptoms. This is referred to as viral shedding, asymptomatic shedding or asymptomatic reactivation.

Cold Sores

Cold sores are little blisters that appear on the surface of the skin, caused as a result of infection by the herpes simplex virus. Cold sores are painful and usually clear up without treatment in about a week to 10 days. People affected with the herpes simplex virus may or may not experience any major symptoms. However, it is worth mentioning that the individual is still prone to spreading the infection even when there are no visible symptoms.

What cause them to happen? Cold sores occur due to a specific strain of the herpes simplex virus known as the HSV – 1. In some cases, cold sores may also happen as a result of infection cause due to the HSV – 2 strain of the virus. Having oral sex with someone already living with genital herpes may make you prone to this condition.

Who is more likely to get herpes?

Persons who are sexually active are likely to get oral herpes or cold sores. Given the fact that body fluids such as semen or vaginal liquids aren’t the only cause behind the spread of the virus, contacting herpes is fairly easy. It is always advised to get tasted for the virus, especially when you have multiple partners or you’re experience some symptoms associated with the condition as mentioned above.