Cold sores can be tiny and painful, and for some, they keep appearing over and over again.
“Many people are infected with this virus but most have no symptoms at all. We spread the cold sore form of this disease through saliva and close personal contact to the saliva of others,” the infectious disease specialist explained.
The appearance of a cold sore can feel slightly embarrassing, especially in social gatherings or work, but Zoutman says the infection is very common.
“They affect your appearance on your lips and face, which may lead to feeling self-conscious. If they recur frequently, they can be very distressing and a reason to seek the help of your doctor.”
“We used to think of HSV-1 as classically the more common, above-the-belt type [that caused cold sores], and HSV-2 was below-the-waist [and causes genital herpes],” Hanna said.
Herpes simplex virus type 1 is transmitted through mouth-to-mouth contact or oral secretions, Hanna said, while HSV-2 causes genital herpes via sexual contact.
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