The cold sores are those red blisters, which are full of fluid, which usually appears on the corner of your mouth, on the lips. There are some rare cases in which they appear on the fingers, inside the mouth or on the nose. They come in ‘groups’. They usually last for two weeks (sometimes longer).

This all happens because of a virus called herpes simplex. It gets from one person to another through close contacts, like kissing or drinking from the same cup. The virus may not always be seen, but it sure is contagious.

Unfortunately, there’s no cure yet, and they can return out of nowhere. However, there is some medication you can take to keep them under control and to prevent them from appearing again.

What’s the cause of cold sores?

As said earlier, the herpes simplex virus is behind all of this. You should know that there are two types: HSV-1 (the one with the cold sores) and HSV-2, which usually leads to genital herpes. The sores look similar on the skin.

You could get the virus if you were in contact with an infected person – through kissing, sharing food, even sharing cosmetics. By oral sex you can get both cold sores and genital herpes.

What are the symptoms?

The first symptom you’ll observe is actually a burning sensation on your lips or face – days before they the cold sores appear. This is when you should start treatment.

After they appear, you’ll see that they’re full of liquid. If you touch them, you’ll feel pain. You should also know that they come in groups. They will last for about two weeks and will be contagious until they fall off.

The Cold Sore Initial Outbreak will happen about 20 days after you got infected with the virus.

Among other symptoms, you can encounter, swollen lymph nodes, pain in the muscles and fever. If this happens, you should call your doctor as soon as possible. Since it can spread to your eye, the infection can leave you with permanent vision loss if you don’t treat it in time.

What are the possible complications?

The initial outbreak can give you severe symptoms, because your body is not ready for it. It’s true, complications are rare, but that doesn’t mean they can’t happen. They can happen, and that of young children.

It’s time to call your doctor if:

You’re having trouble breathing or swallowing, if your fever is high and persistent or if your eyes are irritated and red.

Also, if you have eczema or some other condition that makes your immune system weak (AIDS or cancer), you might encounter complications.