Sores, also known as fever sores
or fever blisters, are clusters
of fluid-filled blisters that
form on the lips and outer edge
of the mouth. Cold Sores are not
synonymous with canker sores.
Cold sores are a contagious infection
wherein the blisters appear on
the outside of the mouth while
canker sores are not contagious
and form on the soft tissue inside
of the mouth including the tongue,
gums and inner cheek.
are relatively common and cannot
be prevented. They usually disappear
within a few days after their
formation without any treatment.
However, topical ointments and
antiviral medicines can be used
to alleviate the discomfort caused
by cold sores and to contribute
to a faster healing process.
typically affects individuals
who are under 30 years of age
and in rare cases it also affects
individuals who are 60 years of
age or older.
Causes and Risk Factors
are typically caused by the Herpes
Simplex Type 1 Virus (HSV-1).
Herpes Simplex Type 2 Virus, associated
with genital herpes, has also
been identified as a probable
cause of cold sores. These viruses
usually appear in the body when
the immune system is weakened
which is why cold sores typically
form after a bout of fever or
are contagious. Therefore, cold
sores can be contracted if the
skin comes into contact with individuals
who are suffering from this condition.
Cold sores can also be spread
by sharing utensils, towels, razors,
and clothing in addition to coughing,
sneezing, touching saliva of an
infected person or kissing an