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Health Information For Teens
Cold sores are small painful blisters that can appear around the mouth, face, or nose. Cold sores (or fever blisters) are very common. They usually go away on their own within 1 to 2 weeks.
Cold sores first form blisters on the lips, around the mouth, and sometimes inside the mouth. The blisters then become sores, which can make eating painful. They’re filled with fluid, but crust over and form a scab before they go away.
Sometimes the virus causes redness and swelling of the gums, fever, muscle aches, a generally ill feeling, and swollen neck glands.
After someone first gets HSV-1, the virus can lie quietly in the body without causing any symptoms. But it can wake up again later from things like:
When the virus reactivates, it can cause tingling and numbness around the mouth before blisters appear.
The herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) causes cold sores. This is a different
from herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). HSV-2 causes lesions in the genital area called genital herpes. Even though HSV-1 typically causes sores around the mouth and HSV-2 causes genital sores, these viruses can cause sores in either place.
People can get HSV-1 by kissing or touching someone with cold sores, or by sharing eating utensils, towels, or other items with an infected person. Many people with HSV-1 got it as kids during their preschool years.
Cold sores usually go away in about 1 to 2 weeks. No medicines can make the virus go away. But some treatments can help make cold sores less painful and not last as long:
If you have a cold sore, it’s important to see your doctor if:
The virus that causes cold sores is very contagious. To help prevent it from spreading to others:
Be especially careful not to touch your eyes. If HSV-1 gets into the eyes, it can cause a lot of damage.
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). There’s no cure for genital herpes, but medicines can help control it.
Find out what the experts have to say.
It’s sometimes called “the kissing disease,” but kissing is just one of the ways that someone can catch mono.
Sometimes it may seem like your skin is impossible to manage, especially when you find a huge zit on your nose or a cold sore at the corner of your mouth. Here are ways to prevent and treat common skin problems.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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