Common Causes of Cold Sores

Cold sores are more than just a painful bump on our lip that seems to last forever, even if it is just a week or so. They are embarrassing and can leave us feeling uncomfortable in social situations. There is a stigma surrounding cold sores that if someone has one, they must have a sexually transmitted disease or have gotten the cold sore as a result of sexual activity when, in fact, there are many reasons a cold sore can come about.

While cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus, this doesn’t mean that the person suffering from a cold sore got it from having sex. In fact, an STD Clinic London will tell you that there is a wide range of ways someone can get the herpes simplex virus including kissing, sharing eating utensils, even sharing towels.

What Are Cold Sores?

With that in mind, what exactly is a cold sore? Cold sores are small blisters around the mouth which are caused by the herpes simplex virus. The most common strain of the virus which causes cold sores is called the herpes simplex virus 1. Herpes simplex is not curable and it can stay inactive for a long time before appearing as a cold sore.

What Causes Cold Sores?

Once the herpes simplex virus is in you, you can have outbreaks of cold sores at any time. These outbreaks can be anything from a single cold sore, to multiple cold sores, or reoccurring cold sores throughout the course of a month or more. There are many triggers that can cause a cold sore outbreak including exposure to hot sun, cold wind, a cold or other illness, a weakened immune system, changing hormone levels, even stress. As you can see, many of the most common causes of a cold sore outbreak have nothing to do with sexual activity.

What Are the Symptoms of Cold Sores?

For anyone who has ever had a cold sore, the symptoms are very obvious and you can feel one coming on days before you see it. Some symptoms of cold sores can include flu-like symptoms and sores (ulcers) in and around the mouth. According to STD testing London, cold sore symptoms can occur a bit differently in each person and they can include:

  • Tingling of the lips.
  • Small blisters on the lips and mouth that enlarge, burst, then crust over.
  • Itching, dryness, and irritation of the lips and mouth.
  • Soreness of the lips and mouth.

If you have persistent cold sores, it is a good idea to visit an STD Clinic London for more information and treatment.

Contact Northway Clinic

To learn more, contact Northway Clinic today and speak to a healthcare professional who can answer any questions you might have.

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