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What causes cold sores?

The herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1) is the cause of cold sores. The active virus is passed from one person to another by contact during an outbreak - through kissing, for example. It can also be passed through person to object, like sharing a shaving razor with a person who has a cold sore.

Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus, which has been in human bloodlines for millennia. It remains dormant in bodies infected with this virus until it’s activated by any number of things, including stress, an illness, fever, sun exposure, sleep deprivation, and so on. In fact, anything that stresses the body—whether physical, emotional, or psychological—can set off a cold sore’s development as the immune system takes a dive.

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

Continue Learning about Oral Herpes (Cold Sores)

Can oral herpes spread to other parts of the body?
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It is possible to spread oral herpes to other parts of the body. Although cold sores tend to develop...
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How long do cold sores last?
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Oral herpes, or cold sores, goes away on its own in about one to two weeks. Taken early, antiviral m...
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What is oral herpes?
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Oral herpes, or cold sores, develop as a result of the herpes simplex virus. Herpes simplex virus ty...
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Where can cold sores develop?
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In most cases, an outbreak of oral herpes, or cold sores, will develop in the lip area. However, it ...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.