Is it true that having cold sores means you’ve got herpes in your mouth?

--asks Anonymous from Horseshoe Beach, Florida.

So much for lipstick! [CREDIT: CDC]
By | Posted September 18, 2006
Posted in: Ever Wondered?, Health
Tags: , , , ,

Well, yes, that is true. But it’s not necessarily the same herpes that causes problems in one’s nether regions.

Cold sores, or fever blisters, are fluid-filled blisters that appear on or around the lips and sometimes on the nostrils or chin. They’re different from canker sores, which are ulcers that occur in the soft tissue inside the mouth.

The culprit responsible for cold sores is the herpes simplex virus, which comes in two flavors. Garden variety cold sores are usually caused by type 1, while type 2 is commonly the villain behind genital sores. But either strain can lead to sores on the face or on the genitals. Over 85 percent of adults are infected with herpes simplex type 1, although they may not show any symptoms at first exposure.

The herpes simplex virus that causes herpes labialis (that’s the medical name for cold sores) is a sneaky sucker. It infects by entering through skin or mucous-coated surfaces and sets up house in your nerve cells. It’s a latent virus, meaning once it’s infected you, it remains dormant between outbreaks.

The life of a cold sore involves several stages. Warning signs that one is about to raise its blistery head include itching, tingling, and burning. Then the blister appears, starting small and often growing to a bulbous mass. After a few days, the mass breaks and may ooze—this is called the “weeping” stage—after which it scabs over a few times and eventually flakes off to reveal pinkish, healing skin. Generally, cold sores don’t leave scars. On average, lesions last 7-10 days if left untreated.

The bad news is that once you’ve got the cold sore virus, you’re stuck with it. But there are ways to keep it in hibernation longer, and you can also take steps to reduce the amount of time cold sores taint your kisser.

First of all, herpes labialis is most contagious when cold sores are in their weeping stage, so don’t go around sharing utensils, cups, or kisses with someone who has a cold sore. Second, fever, menstruation, stress, and even sun exposure can cause outbreaks, so leading a healthy lifestyle—which includes getting enough sleep and wearing sunscreen—can help.

There are over-the-counter and prescription topical creams and oral medications available that can help reduce the lifespan of a cold sore. Acyclovir is one prescription oral drug that is sometimes used. It works by interfering with viral replication, which happens before a cold sore appears. But viral replication generally occurs before a person shows symptoms, so it’s difficult to judge when acyclovir should be taken. If a cold sore is already present, it may be too late for acyclovir to help, and you’ll just have to ride it out.

Herpes simplex virus type 1 less commonly causes other problems besides cold sores. While it can lead to sores anywhere on the skin, as well as on the eye, in rare cases it can also cause neurological disorders, including encephalitis and Bell’s palsy, a type of facial paralysis. Given these alternatives, a little cold sore doesn’t seem too bad, does it?


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  1. that picture is GROSS. but thank you for teaching me about the secret life of cold sores. i wish i could go dormant sometimes, too. that way i wouldn’t have to do my homework.

    p.s. i love that you included the term “nether regions” in this. you rock (monkey).

    Melinda Wenner, September 23, 2006 at 12:38 am
  2. I get cold sore ALL THE TIME, and when they happen, hibernation seems QUITE appealing.

    RockMonkey, September 23, 2006 at 4:19 pm
  3. i’m evidently in the 15% of the population that doesn’t have herpes simplex one. me: one. everyone else: zero.

    beach, September 23, 2006 at 4:26 pm
  4. Wow, beach, you must lead a very sanitary life.

    RockMonkey, September 23, 2006 at 9:30 pm
  5. Herpesvirus is also the culprit behind Mono. Wheeeeee.

    Melinda Wenner, September 23, 2006 at 10:32 pm
  6. I have been a oral cold sore sufferer for over 50 years. My wife of 10 years never gets even one.
    The tendency to have Cold sores seem to be genetic.

    gary gromet, October 3, 2006 at 3:02 pm
  7. I wonder if it is possible for some people to not get cold sores, but to carry HS1? Perhaps they just never house the right conditions for the virus to kick into its cycle – a situation which might be influenced, but not limited to, a person’s genetics.

    Erin, October 3, 2006 at 5:27 pm
  8. wait my friend gets cold sores and she got them before she ever kissed a guy…does that mean she got it from “sharing utensils, cups, or kisses with someone who has a cold sore”? interesting.

    fizzle izzle gizzen gar fuda guda fuda guda fuda guda, October 3, 2006 at 6:08 pm
  9. herpes has nothing to do with mono.

    epstein-barr virus is that nasty beast.

    laura, October 3, 2006 at 7:43 pm
  10. Two viruses can cause mono: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV). Both viruses are in the herpes family, whose other members include viruses responsible for cold sores and chickenpox.

    kamkam, October 3, 2006 at 8:44 pm
  11. Chicken pox is also a herpes virus as is shingles – although they are not herpes simplex but herpes zoster I believe

    Ellen, October 4, 2006 at 9:42 am
  12. Erin: Yes it’s possible to carry HS1 and not get cold sores – I do! Diagnosed with it in a check up 3 years ago and never had a cold sore – before or after. If I didn’t have a copy of the lab results I wouldn’t believe it. So yeah there’s probably a bunch of people out there that have no idea, and won’t have the painful breakouts.

    Tracy, October 4, 2006 at 10:29 am
  13. do you smarties know if “shingles” (not on your roof)on the body are also from the same herpes virus?

    ma, October 5, 2006 at 5:02 pm
  14. fizzle izzle…: You don’t have to kiss someone on the mouth to get cold sores. Your friend could have contracted the virus when someone kissed her on the face when she was a baby.

    I get cold sores occasionally and the quickest way that I’ve found to get rid of them is to use regular old “Desitin”. If I put a little glob of it on the night that a cold sore starts to rear it’s ugly red head, it’s usually gone by the morning. Desitin has Zink and cod liver oil in it which are two powerhouse healing agents. The cream dries the sore and heals it at the same time (That’s why it’s so effective on diaper rash and it also works great for heat rash).

    Lindsey, January 31, 2007 at 12:46 pm
  15. i found that abreva is very good but you have to catch it befoure it blisters and wash it and keep doing that till it doesint bother you andy more but its enberising how many people get them how are you saposed to get a girlfriand i mean i dont whatn to give a girl cold sores????any advice???

    sindle, February 11, 2007 at 1:37 am
  16. I suffered for years with cold sores until I started taking Valtrex. Whenever I feelone coming I take 2ea 1 gm Valtrex 12 hours apart, total of 4 pills and I have never had one again in the past 5 years, it works!

    TE, February 14, 2007 at 6:55 am
  17. what happens if u kiss a person with cold sores? does this mean you automatically get it?

    47, March 17, 2007 at 1:39 am
  18. Cheers for the report dude,
    I had about 3-4 cold saw’s in the past. The last one I had was different tho.
    I woke up after a heavy night drinking and could feel my lips were saw and I had the tinkel of a cold saw comming on.
    It turned out on the top of my lip. I had to work for the next few days (I work in a chilled enviroment). My lips were saw from the chilled air and I treated it with cream. It blistered and burst but then got affected. It scapped for longer then unusal and when it finally come of it left a small scar. It’s a small cluster of blisters which are have a different colour to my lips. Its never blister since but the colour differnece has stayed.

    Does anyone know if this means I am more likely to pass on the virus? It looks like a small circular scar.

    Neu, March 23, 2007 at 8:42 pm
  19. i just recently contracted the cold sore virus because my roomie was stealing my TOOTHBRUSH (life isn’t fair sometimes…she had it and gave it to me). i hate it. i’m 21 years old and in college…it’s so…hindering. when they break out i just want to hide. i’m a very social girl, and pretty damned attractive; but going out to the bars in this east coast city is a NO GO when i have a cold sore.

    i get them BAD. once in a while they’re small. but some are HUGE lesions of scabbed skin on my lips :(

    my question is this…my friend’s mother advised me that breakouts will be more frequent soon after contracting it, but that they will die down significantly in the months and years to come. any truth to this?

    sillygirl, March 24, 2007 at 5:11 am
  20. I’ve had cold sore when I was a child, never pay too much attention to them. In my early part of my adult life, I’ve not had them again for about 4 years. But suddenly one day, it showed up again, and I poped it because I though it was acne (after 4 years cold sore free, I hardly remember what a cold sore looks like). Then it spreaded to more area. That year I had a total 9+ outbreak, on average once per month and lasted 2 weeks each time. I found Abreva to be a only OTC oitment that worked. The following year, same thing happened again for a few months, so I took acyclovir, and I went outbreak free for about half a year. Then I cough it again from sharing communion cup, so on my third year of consistent outbreak, I was put on Valtrex for suppressive therapy. Cold Sore is like allergies, you may experience more frequent at certain stage of life, and you may also be free of outbreak for years or decades. My boyfriend had cold sore when he was a kid, but he has not have cold sore for more than 15 years, even when I have mine; which made me jealous.

    Kiss of Death, March 28, 2007 at 1:35 pm
  21. My girl and I both get cold sores once or twice a year. What I am wondering is if I have an active cold sore can I cause her to have an outbreak by kissing her or since she already has the virus is this okay? Does an outbreak cause an outbreak in the other person?

    Paul, March 31, 2007 at 5:30 pm
  22. I had a fever of 104.2 on Monday and on Wednesday woke up with a cold sore. Now I six. YES, SIX. My doctor gave me pills called Famvir. He says to take three at once instead of one for three days. Also, I use a cream called Denavir. I have gotten these godforsaken things since I am 5 or 6. I usually can keep them in check with the cream. This time they are out of control. I guess the virus (from the fever) needs to run its course and this is how it did. Anyone know this to be true?

    YEAHTHEYSUCK, April 5, 2007 at 5:53 am
  23. Wow, YEAHTHEYSUCK. That sounds absolutely brutal. I can imagine how horrible you feel. I use Denavir when I get cold sores, too. That stuff is amazing–they shrivel up within days, almost as if they’re being killed from the inside out. I would imagine that your fever did somehow spur the virus to enter explosive mode. Probably something to do with your antibodies and such trying to fight other infection in your body, leaving the cold sore virus unchecked. Just a theory, though. Stay tough!

    RockMonkey, April 5, 2007 at 12:29 pm
  24. I have gotten cold sores ever since I was a child (around 7 or 8, I think), but I used to only get them once every couple of years. Recently though, I discovered Abreva, which really does shorten the life of a cold sore if you use it soon enough. However, since using Abreva the first time, my outbreaks are MUCH more frequent: around 3 or 4 times a year. I don’t know if there is something about Abreva that interrupts the healing cycle, thus leading to more frequent outbreaks or what.

    Yggdrasil, April 16, 2007 at 10:45 pm
  25. Well i get cold sores alot and i hate them soo much. I just started using abreva but i dont know if i should keep using it even if the blister has opened. I usually use carmex and it seems to work really well.

    Roxie, May 1, 2007 at 9:34 pm
  26. hi!
    I suffer from cold sores too, dang it!!! I thought I was the only one!! Glad I found you guys:).. well, I got my first one when I was 16 and then never got any for about 2 years. Now I am in my senior year of high school and got 2 in the past two months! I don’t know if it is because I am stressed or what!! and mine leave small circular’s really not cool!!!any advice?:)

    stephi, May 3, 2007 at 11:38 pm
  27. hey
    ive had cold sores forabout 2 years now. but i just realised that is what ive been having. it comes on the side of my chin and is like a clup of tiny wee blisters that itch real bad. i just had a baby 5 weeks ago and am tired as so guess thats wat bort it on :( it sux and i dont wanna give it to my son. i use zovirax and it seems to work way better than leaving to go away on it owns.

    Lily, May 23, 2007 at 11:35 am
  28. I’ve had the cold sore virus since I was 15 (I’m now 27), and I usually get two or three a year -always when I’m very tired and stressed. There are two non-prescription topical ointments that work for me. One is called Lysine, and you can only find it in some health food stores. I’ve only found it through Wild Oats. The other thing I really like is called Zilactin, and that can be found at most drug stores–I think it costs about $15, but it’s worth it. it creates a thin layer over the cold sore which will protect it from getting too wet -from the shower or from drinking something.
    The other thing I do–but I probably shouldn’t recommend this – when I first get a blister, I carefully poke it with a safety pin, then blot the fluid from the blister -swab it with a q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol (to dry it out and kill the germs), and then I start using the topical meds on a frequent basis.
    To avoid scarring, you’ve got to be careful about letting your scabs wash away too soon when washing your face in the sink or shower. Like any other wound, if it doesn’t have enough time to heal underneath the scab, then you get a scar…
    Does anyone know where Denavir and Desitin are available for sale? Or is a prescription required?

    Sorey, June 4, 2007 at 10:18 pm
  29. hi! im a 15 year old boy and i cant stand cant stand!! cold sores for the past 2 mouths my lower lip has felt like i was getting a cold sore and durring the mouth i have been pushing it and it seemed to go away for a week or two but it being the start of summer an all iv gone to the beach and have been getting a lot of sun and now HAVE a cold sore is there anyway i can stop cold sores in all so they never become active???? email me at soccerben1991 thanks so much or just submit a comment on this page thanks

    Ben, June 5, 2007 at 8:54 pm
  30. hey Sorey
    Desitin is available in a vast majority of stores. Mostly in the baby stuff aisle.

    I have never heard of Denavir. I am assuming that it is a prescription.

    DIANE, June 8, 2007 at 2:42 am
  31. I’ve gotten cold sores since I was about 8 years old, but about 2 years ago I got a variety that seems to cause slightly different symptoms. The burning and itching are not localized the cold sore on my lip…it feels like all the nerves on the right side of my face are burning and itching. It’s maddening!

    Since summer two years ago, it always starts the same: first my eyes feel kinda of sore when I blink…then the tingling and burning and itching in the nerves on the right side of my face…the cold sore appears on my lip. But the burning and itching in my face are tormenting for a couple of weeks. I get a little nauseated,too.

    Has anyone else experienced this, too?

    J-li, June 11, 2007 at 10:02 am
  32. what to do when you catch cold sores too late? like, after the “tingling stage.” i’ve been using abreva but i don’t think it really helps anymore, and it would be SO GREAT if i found something that actually worked no matter WHEN i use it.

    molly connelly, June 13, 2007 at 5:11 am
  33. I have just recently discovered that i have a cold sore…it really sucks and i do not remember ever having it. my mom gets them all the time but started getting them when she was real young. This is my the age of 19 why am i getting it now? is it genetic? why cant i kiss my boyfriend?

    Katelynn, June 19, 2007 at 11:22 pm
  34. Hi guys, I’m glad I found you! I was just recently diagnosed with Herpes-1, and I’m 21! I was in a trial where I had to get tested for ALL STIs and I was all negative then, so I’m pretty pissed that I suddenly developed it now, while in college!

    Anyway, my outbreak is, unfortunately, real bad, so I’ve been in hibernation for almost a week now. I’ve even had to hide from my brother and dad because it’s so embarassing-looking! And my poor mom has freaked out, so I feel pretty alone. My doctor(s) have prescribed 10 days-worth of Valtrex to hopefully get rid of the symptoms. However, for the future, do you guys recommend that I keep a stash of Valtrex if I feel an outbreak coming on? Thanks!


    Sarah, July 18, 2007 at 4:32 pm
  35. Ive been having outbreaks for around a year now and i always get them around or on my lower lip.
    i find that i do not notice the tingly stage and i just feel a small bump, within 24 hours this has grown into the real deal, a large yellow spot on my lip. i also find other symptoms are that my gum swells in places, and i get irregular small lumps on the inside of my mouth, does anyonebody else experience this?

    Nick, July 22, 2007 at 11:05 am
  36. im a 21 year old male and 3 days ago i got this random sore on the outside of the corner of my mouth. i went to the doc and he said its most likely nothing to worry about. the next day i had about three more bumps on my left cheek and all of the lympfnoids and glands on my neck were swollen and very sore. anyone else get this from simplex 1? i still dont know if this is actually herpes or not but its freaking me out and apparently the blood test i made my doc take often has many false positives so i dont even know how to tell for sure if i have it!

    if anyone has any information that would be helpful please leave a comment. thanks

    joe, August 24, 2007 at 9:01 pm
  37. I get cold sores at leaset twice a year since i can remember. I have got it down to a science. Nothing ever works, I have tried everything. Valtrex, Famvir, Abreva… Once you get the itchy feeling there is no stopping it all you can really do is damage controll. I have found that as soon as it bubbles you have to pop it with a sanitary pin. Then its like any other scab but just in the worst spot of all time. I try to dry it out as soon as possible. Desitin works Toothpaste works, rubbing alcohol, peroxide. I take atleast 4 showers a day to clean the sore then dry it out. the sore will get smaller and smaller the faster it scabs over and over. Stress, Sun burns, a cut from shaving, braces, any thing can bring them on. I even had a doctor tell me that penut butter and ceral can bring them out. The number one thing that brings them on is stress and a close number 2 is the sun. So always put suncreen on and around your lips and try to lead a stress free life. I wouldnt wish cold sores on my worst enemy and would pay anymount of money to never again have an outbreak.

    jack, August 28, 2007 at 9:50 pm
  38. hey there
    I was wondering what they actually look like. Most places have said that they are red backgrounds with white blisters in the center. I have a cut (or possibly a cold sore) on my lip and it doesn’t really look like any of the pictures I have seen but I am really paranoid (and I am a hypochondriac) and I was just wondering if anyone else had any other variations on this. The whole side of my lip has been on fire for about three days and there is a cut, maybe because I am rubbing the area. I don’t know. Let me know. Help!

    Leah, August 29, 2007 at 1:41 pm
  39. I have had this cold sore stuff since I was 17, I dont know how I got it. It sucks, my first outbreak I had like 20 cold sores all over my lips and inside of mouth. From then I have like 5-6 breakouts a year. I have tried everything not to get them and it always happens at the wrong time. I use denavir cream which is a prescription. I have tried popping them sometimes it works and other times it worst, my lip gets inflamed and i end up with a puffy lip.

    Any recommendations on how to reduce it? Stress i know is a main cause, but who doesnt have stress.

    Marie, September 5, 2007 at 2:09 pm
  40. I kissed a girl with a cold sore out break, does this mean i’m going to get cold sores?

    JIMM, September 9, 2007 at 4:41 pm
  41. Ok I just found out that I carry th cold sore virus in my blood. I have never had a cold sore, but my father and grandmother have them..So i guess its in my DNA. My question is when I get bug bites they tend to stay scab up and leave scars does this have anything to do with the cold sore virus being in my blood? I am also prone to infitigo..sp? Any clues anyone?

    kiki..., September 14, 2007 at 10:33 am
  42. Yup… it sucks. I either get canker sores, cold sores, or styes. I hate them all! Right now I’m stuck with a fat ass cold sore on my bottom lip. I wish there was a way to kill off this virus for good.

    yeah, October 4, 2007 at 11:29 am
  43. I’ve never gotten a cold sore nor do I have any type of herpes. But my boyfriend thinks he might have when he was in hs (his mom, a nurse practitioner who therefore knows about medicine, even got him Abreva, cold sore meds) and is pissed that I’m making him get a herpes test. Yes cold sores are more socially acceptable than genital herpes but they’re both types of contagious herpes and one should know if they have them or not.

    Right, October 15, 2007 at 12:20 pm
  44. I have had cold sores since I was born. I have figured out that when I used Abreva it would take almost two weeks for the cold sore to go away and i seemed to get them more often so i tried L-Lysine Pills and Lysine cream. It is awsome. What I am most scared about is that I am going to give my girlfriend them even though I do not have an outreak. Can anyone tell me what might be the possibility that she could get it even though i did not have an outbreak. Thanks.

    William, October 22, 2007 at 10:26 pm
  45. Wow I Have an cold sore right now and its very anonyin knowing that every time I lick my lips I have this big,wierd,not good feeling thing on my lips…

    kia, November 11, 2007 at 10:30 am
  46. I was getting a cold sore, but it was so small and on my face, not my mouth so I thought it was just acne. I went out and kissed a guy I really like- we had sex – and I went “down” on him too. Today I work up with a full blown cold sore. I am really freaking out. I would never want to give any body cold sores ever!!! I feel so bad and do not know what to do. I feel so guilty and horrible. I am a good, nice person and not a slut. I’ve know him for years and really like him. What should I do!!!!!!!!

    FreakingOut, November 22, 2007 at 2:18 pm
  47. To anyone needing help to get rid of cold sores. Your body produces them when the immune system is compromised and you are run down. Cold sores have to have an open cut or sore in order to enter your body even something as simple as chapped lips will give it an opportunity to thrive. But you dont need expensive meds to combat this virus. You wont get cold sores at all if you take the vitamin supplement Lysine on a daily basis. You get them due to a lack of lysine in your diet or system. Just like the dinosaurs on Jurrassic Park being unable to produce it we also need the supplement to stay healthy if we have contracted the cold sore virus. So do what I do and take lysine it works great and if you take it daily you wont get an outbreak. If you feel the tingling sensation coming on double up on it and take 1000 mg or more at once and you can usually stop it in its tracks (if you dont care to take it daily). Good luck. Lysine can be found at most drugstores or supermarkets for around $5 a bottle!

    Jan, December 3, 2007 at 12:49 pm
  48. Hey, im thirteen and i get cold saws except i dont get it on the lip or on the chin or on the nose i get it around my eye and my eye goes all red and then it gradually closes and the cold saw covers my eye so i dont get much sleep at night and all nightt i just cry so i dont get to go to school for like a week! i get quite emmbarressed when i go to the shops and people look at me and think that ive been in a punch up! And even the teachers ask if im ok they get suspicious about my perants but they are the best! it just makes me feel so sick the doctor said exactly 10 years ago that it will go away but it just gets worse every year! well i just feel wierd wen i have it! :( thanks 4 listening!

    Thirteen, December 5, 2007 at 4:39 pm
  49. My partner gets coldsores and my ex got coldsores….but I’ve never had one.

    I’m a carrier only, so I could snog a whole load of people and not get one :)

    I do get ulcers in my mouth but only if I’m really run down – and that’s a sign I have a cold coming on.

    Pfer, February 18, 2008 at 4:03 pm
  50. Well…here I am researching “Cold Sores” and I stumble across you lot.

    I just got over a 3 day flu…which involved fever out breaks…and a runny nose, which then led to chapped nostrils from the constant whipping ( No cold sores during the flu)

    I’m now all fine from the flue, But then I woke up this morning & felt amazing that I’m now better, and low an behold I had a fat lip every pinching / tingling sensation I am feeling is spreading its way across my lip, its horrible, I HATE IT!

    I am currently sitting at my computer with a massive collection of cold sores on my top lip,
    I now have cold sores all up my nostril and now on the tip of my bloody nose…I can feel them throbbing.

    I look like a freak!

    I live in Australia…some of these names you all have mentioned for helping doesn’t seem familiar here, is there any names for creams or meds I can take here.
    And also…I clean my cold sores roughly every 3-4 hrs a day and night with “Detol” is that a good idea for a cleaning solution? I feel water and soap just aint enough.

    Please some one respond, I’m desperate to get rid of these suckers.

    Mary, February 29, 2008 at 6:26 pm
  51. I have just began using finger nail polish and I swear the stuff works. The sores last a day.

    elizabeth, March 5, 2008 at 2:53 pm
  52. I just got back from Hawaii and forgot to use SPF on my lips. Of course, here come the cold sores. Luckily, I already had a prescription of Denavir and some Abreva. I’ve been trying them together although I haven’t found any studies that show using them at the same time helps, the pain has subsided after only one day of use and they aren’t getting as puffy as usual. I also like the Camphor lip balm. In any case, I would suggest using SPF on your lips any time you go out into the sun. Wish I had remembered!!

    dwhittaker, March 30, 2008 at 5:02 pm
  53. l got my first cold sore at 16,since then can get them as often as one a month. A few years ago started to get them in my eye about every 3 or 4 months. i wear contact lenses so it made it worse. They come on really quickly in the eye starts a feeling like a bit of dust in your eye, within 4 hours eye all red can’t open it and pain like having a knife in one eye and out the back of your head! I have to stay in a dark room, lots of pain killers put zovirax eye cream in eye, and this lasts three full days! Last year i nearly lost my eye with this sight has been damaged due to scarring on my corena, was told i needed a transplant.. not worth the risk of that thou, if i had another cold sore attack would ruin transplant taking. valtrex is the only thing that seems to work but as a single mother of two i cant afford it, and the Dr cant give this this script to me on the PBS as i don’t have fu##ing genital herpies!!!

    kimm, April 8, 2008 at 6:34 am
  54. HERPES IS NOT “GENETIC.” it does not “so happen to be passed down from one generation to the next.” your grandparents and your parents have it, so it’s obvious that you will too, right? WRONG. It is a VIRUS that you CONTRACT from another person. usually, if your mother has it, and kisses you when you’re a baby, that’s how you get it early. or you can get it from sharing food with someone in grade school, or from kissing someone later in life.
    the point being, it may be in your genetics to have a higher chance of contracting herpes once you’re exposed to it, but it is definitely something that, if never come in contact with, you will never get.
    ALSO, there are different kinds of herpes I. this means that if you have a cold sore, and someone else gets cold sores too, it is still NOT OKAY to share food or kiss. they may have a different type than you, and it would suck to carry around different kinds of viruses that tend to blister at different times. and you wouldn’t want to be a virus warehouse, would you?
    so BE CAREFUL. but life is short, and you’ve got to live a little. people carrying it might not even know they have it. so kiss whomever you want while being as careful as you can, and dont worry TOO much about having blisters — 1 in 5 americans get them!!

    Anon, April 10, 2008 at 5:09 pm
  55. I have the WORST outbreak right now. I’m only 18 but I have been getting them since I was about 6 or 7. But anyway. I got a really bad sunburn (because I didn’t wear sunscreen) I know shame on me. But I broke out all over my lips, my nose, chin, and about the size of a half dollar on my cheek. My Spring Break is SUCKING right now. But my 3 bestfriends came over today and we hung out and watched movies but yea. lol. If u go to the doctor you can get over the conter medicine called: Zovirax…This is the best I have used I have had the fever blisters for only 2 days and it is already healing it.

    Rockstar, April 11, 2008 at 12:56 am
  56. People, you should try some Calendula’s tincture, it works quite nicely. It doesn’t prevent the cold sores, but it does help to remove them quickly, in only a matter of a day or two.

    See on Wikipedia:

    GBO, April 13, 2008 at 3:39 pm
  57. i mostly used to get cold sores when i was in my teens , im 32 now and recently on 2 occasions ive noticed a pattern where i was kinda stressed during one weekend and around thursday-friday following that stressful weekend i had developed a cold sore.. i used Zorvirax and this new stuff the Pharmacy girl said is better called Vectavir which helps to heal the sore quicker, which it did, i only had the sore for about 4 days max… but my issue with all of this is when i get these sores which is very rare, the sneaky little virus does its tingling and dancing while im sleeping thus not even giving me a chance to haul out the cream and stop the bugger… so this morning when i woke up the right hand side of my upper lip felt warm and i said “oh crap!” (the mirror copped a few more choice words) and i applied the cream but the virus still went to town on my lip during the day anyway.. i think most of the creams out there are good at healing the “wound” but not stopping the virus from replicating and getting vicious!! ..when i was younger someone told me to hold an ice cube on the warm/tingly area before the outbreak until you cant take it anymore or you run out of ice cubes to stop the virus from replicating and setting up shop. I havnt tried it in recent years but will try if it happens again. …on a positive side.. maybe in one respect (not all cases) the virus is a mechanism for our body to use as a tool tell us we are leading stressful lives ???

    Too late to prevent with creams !!!, May 16, 2008 at 7:52 am
  58. i just got cold sore’s in and around my right nostril i’m 26 first time i ever got them even tho my parents had them very mildly threw my lifetime[i never notice it but they said they had it befor i was born].

    earlier this year in febuary, i got real sick havn’t been sick like this since i was 12 for almost a month straight i couldn’t get out of my bed, i got no type of sores what so ever the time
    i was sick but afterwards i been feeling fatigue with headache and slight naussea all the way to now and still feeling it

    then like 5 days ago i saw a friend shook hes hand then not thinking picked my nose right nostril area, it was like 2:00 p.m. 6 hours later my nose started to itch didn’t look at it that night but the next morning i saw blisters

    i was wondering if the virus can infect and spread that fast or if i could of always had it and it just appeared from bad luck???

    im praying to god its not cold sores from herpes but hoping its a staff infection like impetigo or something like that i feel like i have leprosy all because it’s uncurable i feel so desressed about it i don’t know what to do also feel guilty thinking like this

    truth is im very scared about it because i live basically a unhealthy lifestyle but i eat good, im an insomniac and work all day in the sun doing construction[plus sometimes get really dirty working] normally very stressed from every day life also get nervous twitches and itch [reason why i scratch/pick my nose that day]

    i don’t think i can handle break outs few times a year without mentally breaking down myself i’m just so scared and everyone that i told about it tell me nothing is wrong but i just can’t let it go i protect myself from stuff like this my whole life and thinking a lil slip up by scratching my nose can bring a viruse that will never leave me is making me sick as i type

    sorry i’m letting my feeling out like this i just cant help from feeling so lost and empty now

    very worried, May 30, 2008 at 12:27 am
  59. That is a pretty gross photo but great explanation and makes sense! Thanks for the info.

    San Francisco Photos, June 11, 2008 at 12:34 pm
  60. ive been getting cold sores ever since i was about 8 years old, i agree… they SUCK majorly!! I get them when i’m stressed out, before or after i’ve been sick, or from the sun. everyday i use HERPECIN L. its a lip protectant/sunscreen. i use it as chapstick and its constantly on my lips when i’m in the sun. its AWESOME. i havent had an outbreak in about a year or so. when i would get one tho, i used CAMPHO-PHENIQUE. its a gel that relieves pain and speeds up the healing process.

    hopes this helps someone….

    Manda, June 17, 2008 at 2:17 am
  61. Three CONSECUTIVE (literally, one day of completely clear lips between them) cold sores, 1) upper left, 2) right side, 3) right in the middle of the bottom lip. Over a month and a half of continuous cold sores–some days I don’t go to class because its just that bad. Count it.

    I want to rip my lips off–im a handsome dude, but this shit just sucks balls.

    Suicidal, July 10, 2008 at 4:46 pm
  62. Painful, ugly, repulsive. Spent a nice Saturday afternoon at the beach, SPF-ed everything except my lips and oh boy did I pay the price. A cluster of 4/5 in the middle of my bottom lip. I am using Champo-Phenique right now but I am buying Desitin as soon as I’m out of work so I can go home to curl up in a ball and cry.

    blister blister go away.., July 23, 2008 at 3:24 pm
  63. Heyya (:
    i frikkn get these things too.
    there ruining my life.
    when i get one i refuse to leave the house
    no school, no partys, no sport.
    its the worst thing in the world.
    && i have tried everything imaginable to stop them && to heal them but nothing seems to work.
    This sucks arseee
    x x

    yewwwww', July 30, 2008 at 11:14 am
  64. I had cold sores since I was a child. Possibly from sharing a utensil cup by someone who was going through an active episode.
    Try Lysine treatments and/or BHT. Now my episodes are very few and far between and no where near the severity they once were.

    BeenThere, August 3, 2008 at 8:51 am
  65. I have never had a cold sore in my life. I think the herpes numbers are blown outta proportion.

    Who knows though.

    rick, August 14, 2008 at 10:35 pm
  66. I kissed a guy two days ago, just a couple of light kisses. Then a couple hours later he sends me a text message saying he felt guilty for not telling me that he has herp1. (wether i get it or not, im never kissing him again, he should have told me.) but im not running a fever, im a little tired but thats from lack of sleep. But what worries me is that every now and then my lip kind of tingles, but i know im a slight hypocondrac. So im not 100% sure if im immaging it or not. i also have a slightly raw spot on the top of my mouth, but i get that whenever i eat chips or something hard, and i did yesterday. So it might be because of that. Either way im worried…What do you guys think?

    Doesn'twanttobeahypocondriac., August 20, 2008 at 12:58 pm
  67. Everyone needs to understand that having herpes simplex 1 is normal. Nothing wrong with having it. Its just like having a cold. It is very contagious when there is a cold sore or if its developing. If somebody has herpes simplex 1 but doesn’t have a cold sore, you will not get it. Also you may think you don’t have it because you have never had a cold sore, it is likely that you do have it but it is dormant. The last time I had a cold sore was when I was 9 and I am currently 14 and i have not had a cold sore in 5 years.

    Nik, August 23, 2008 at 3:02 am
  68. Hey everyone!
    I know exactly how you all feel! I am 24 years old and had never had a cold sore in my life! I was very foolish and went to a party with a lot of alcohol and kissed a boy who apparently had an old healing wound on his lip. He tells me he told me before we kissed. I don’t remember this. But even if I had been sober I really didn’t understand fully what cold sores were. I know again foolish. But I guess I had never really worried about it. Sure you hear about it in class from others picking on someone about have herps…but I never thought it was the real deal. It is isn’t it?!! I was extremely depressed and mad at myself for allowing something like that to happen. I even took it as far as thinking I was being punished for my actions. Which really I know is not true. But I did deserve punishment. Boy did I get it!! I will NEVER NEVER EVER kiss someone I don’t know well, eat after someone, etc for the rest of my life. Even though I have it now and apparently will carry it forever :( who knows what else you can get by simply drinking a sip out of someones cup! I am sorry that all of you are experiencing this too. If it makes you feel better (which is doubtful, I know) you are not alone. 85% of adults have this virus!!! Wow. I didn’t know diddly about this until I got it. How sad eh? Education is important about STD’s etc. I will remember this. Now I have a partner that I will spend the rest of my life with and I will never be that ‘party girl’ again. Not that I was “slutty” to begin with…just had a good time without fully thinking things through. Its so scary the word forever. But what can ya do huh? So don’t beat yourself up about it friends, it doesn’t make you a bad person, or a “trashy” person, or ugly…or anything else you can think of to put yourself down when you start feeling bad about it!! I am a beautiful, intelligent, kind-hearted, and easy-going woman (no not self-absorbed LoL just confident) and so are you! Man or woman whatever. You just have to get through the outbreaks with your head high!! If hibernating feels better for you (me too, lol) than so be it!! But don’t beat yourself up too much, remember stress is a trigger!! ..who doesn’t stress though huh? Also wear chapstick with a high SPF always. Carry it in your purse, pocket, booksac, car, etc. And if someone gives you crap about it–ignore them. Tell em it must be nice to be so flippin perfect!!! (cause no one is nor ever will be) Now that we have it–educate others..your children, friends, co-workers so that you can do your part. Cause I was the girl who had no clue!! And always protect yourself when having sex or kissing someone (exchanging any fluids really lol) because if we have this on our lips occasionally and are upset just imagine how much worse it could be!! By the way, I am so happy to have come across this site, to see that others can discuss and provide info for those in need is a beautiful thing. All the while no one is being mean or rude…wonderful!! I don’t feel so alone now…even though they say 85% – which is a a lot, when you break out you feel completely alone!! I know. Anyways I know this is waaaaay tooooooo long but I just wanted to share. Sharing is caring–(kinda ironic huh?) :D
    Well God Bless and Goodnight.
    REMEMBER: You are alllll beautiful & be careful out there…………..
    Peace Out!

    Foolish, September 24, 2008 at 11:21 pm
  69. P.S. Sorry for the minor typos…
    OCD (obsessive complusive disorder) made me put this ‘p.s’!!!!! LoL
    Great example of the stress that triggers these boogers!! :) Ok-I’m gone now. Goodnight.

    Foolish, September 24, 2008 at 11:29 pm
  70. I have my 2nd cold sore in 6 weeks – stress and right before my period are 2 consistent occurrences. I usually only get one every 6-8 months but lately it’s been worse since my classes & 2 jobs stress me out & I’ve spent a lot of time outside (NASCAR & 2 NFL games) lately without sunscreen. Been getting them since I was 21 – my friend D gave me a kiss when he was on the tail end of a “healing” cold sore and assured me he was not contagious. Ha. That was 15 years ago.
    I use Rx Zovirax cream 4-5x a day for a week and Rx Valtrex 2x a day for 10 days. Those are the only remedies that seem to help. Goldenseal & lysine do help as maintenance supplements, but my sores get so vicious, that it does not matter. My upper lip gets bigger than a gumball – looks like someone punched me – and the pain just throbs and radiates across my face. I take 600 mg ibuprofen every 3-4 hours just to cope. The nasty part is when the sore looks like cauliflower then pops & oozes, I have to butter my lip 4x a day with extra Zovirax, covering it with a band-aid and clean it twice a day in the shower. Very annoying.

    Roxy, October 7, 2008 at 12:19 am
  71. yay, i dont have it! i guess that makes me special in the 15% range.

    Natalie, October 7, 2008 at 6:52 pm
  72. Even if you don’t ever have a cold sore, you could still have the virus in its latent stage. No, that doesn’t make you just “a carrier”, this isn’t a genetic disease. You have HSV-1, it just is never active, which is something that could possibly change within your lifetime.

    Most people get the virus before the age of ten. How many times do you share drinks, eating utensils, chapstick, or lip gloss at that age? A ton, because that “ew germs” thing hasn’t quite been ingrained yet.

    Marie, October 8, 2008 at 10:24 am
  73. My girlfriend of a year just broke up with me because she is terrified of getting cold sores. we were great together, she just couldn’t stop worrying. life sucks.

    broken, October 15, 2008 at 12:57 am
  74. have had cold sores since i was about 6 months old honestly i thought it was possible to get them but not have the virus.

    DRN, October 20, 2008 at 1:08 am
  75. Yes, it means having herpes on your mouth.
    HVP1, not 2, which means 2 is genital.
    you can spread it to genital if you don’t wash your hands while you have a outbreak on your lip.
    I have had “fever blisters”, “cold sores” since i was just a child, starting at age 4, 5.
    They are terrible, however i must say i used to have them BAD i would sometimes get 4 on my lips at one time will being sick, and i couldn’t even eat because they would crack and bleed.
    Throughout the years i can honestly say they have gotten ALOT better, in highschool i would get 2-3 a year, first year of college i would get one, and now its been a year and haven’t had one, just recently i got one and its almost halloweeen :(, but a year with out a cold sore was like a miracle!
    their horrible, hurt and itch like crazy.
    the only thing i’ve ever really used is carmex, it helps, but not really.
    mine would usually last 7-14 days, terrible terrible.
    i started taking L-LYSINE 1000 MG, popping them like candies (you can’t over dose)
    but mostly meds and pills only really help if you FIRST feel the tingle.
    i am now going to start taking Valtrex after this cold sore is gone & see if it helps any and going to use L-LYSINE in my everyday life, to help prevent.
    i have had a boyfriend for 4 years and he doesn’t understand why i get them!
    he’s just lucky he doesn’t have to deal with them, i REFUSE to kiss him or touch my lip anywhere on him, because being cursed with this sucks, i believe everyone has it in their body, and something is just bound to trigger it, whether it be someone, or its just their time.

    goodluck every one who gets them.

    why are WE the ones cursed and others aren’t.
    it SUCKS.

    kay, October 30, 2008 at 12:25 am
  76. sorry every one i meant HSV 1 ***

    kay, October 30, 2008 at 12:27 am

    MIAMI GIRL, November 2, 2008 at 5:59 pm
  78. Herpes (HSV 1) is a virus, typically the hardest of all to “cure”. The virus, once it ‘activates’, if you will, it creates a sore. The problem though is that it retreats back into the nervous system where it goes dormant – essentially asleep. When the virus is dormant it is next to impossible to get at. However, there has been some research done and they think that they could activate the virus (give you a cold sore), one could do this on march break, for example or when one wouldn’t have plans. So, you would have to hibernate for a weak, lol, and the virus would come up. Then, you would take medicine to stop the virus from going back into the nervous system. There is hope yet.

    Here is the article:

    Good luck.

    Brayden, November 3, 2008 at 6:14 pm
  79. Arggh cold sores have become such a 4 letter word in my life. I have been getting them since I was a young girl. My mom and brother also get them and the outbreaks range from mild to pretty severe. A few years ago I got 3 bad outbreaks in 3 months with two of the OBs being multiple lesions on my lips and nose. After that I did a ton of research and started religiously taking a lysine supplement a multivitamin and a vitamin B and C stress tab as well as modifying my diet in such a way as to restrict foods high in arginine (coffee, chocolate, nuts) and eating more foods naturally high in lysine (mango, milk, cheese, eggs). This resulted in my being OB free for a while. In the past year my cold sores came back about once every 2-3 months, but they were much less severe and smaller than before, also at this time I was going through a lot of emotional stress. I havent had one in the last 6 months. However my husband starting getting them with alarming frequency. His are almost always in the same spot on his upper lip and his cold sore is very small and hardly noticeable, in fact to most people its probably not notceable. At the same time its puzzling that they keep coming back. He uses abreva and that works, but then 2-3 weeks later the culprit is back. I now have him taking supplements and I guess I should be on top of him to change his toothbrush etc.,

    Maureen, December 3, 2008 at 10:06 pm
  80. Do you hve to throw out any lipglosses you use when you have cold sore, becuse I just bought a relly expensive one nd I didn’t know I hd a cold sore since it is my first one.

    hatecoldsores, December 14, 2008 at 8:23 pm
  81. YES! Absolutely throw out your toothbrush & lipsticks, and any other makeup that has touched the skin in or near your cold sores! Many have been infected–myself included–through infected makeup. (My makeup consultant sharpened & reused *gag!!* lip liner sample pencils–infecting me! I would NEVER have used them had I known that!) My doctor has confirmed that the herpes virus does indeed live in moist makeup. While yours can’t “reinfect” you if you’re already infected, they can certainly cause a new flare-up (outbreak). I actually bleach my toothbrush daily during an outbreak (rinse next time before using), then throw it out when the OB is over.

    Mimi Bon, January 28, 2009 at 1:08 pm
  82. uuuuuugh.
    i have one right now and it pretty much SUCKS.
    whenever i go to school they’re like ew
    you have herpes!
    and i’m like…um no i don’t its a cold sore.
    and they’re like oh
    and i’m like yeeeeeah.
    but anywyas i use abreva to make it go away fasterrr.

    Sally, February 17, 2009 at 6:38 pm
  83. I get c.s’s too.
    I hate it becuase I am ashamed and people think you ae a walking VD. I have been commented on as being gross so yes I hybernate, I even have almost lost my job before because of it. the doctor says I dont have the genital symplex 2 but I am still not happy with why I have this. I can say this, when I get a fever and not fell well or bite my lip perfusely is when I have the c.s. I do the same things you all do to get it gone quick but I am in need of support because it truely affects me. I hate it and want to cut my lips off.

    Jennifer Ragland, February 18, 2009 at 4:37 pm
  84. I just can’t believe that we all have herpes simplex one…which we nick named the cold sore…if you have a cold sore be careful not to preform oral sex for it will lead to herpes simplex two…Genital herpes. This virus is indeedly elegant for when you are clear from the visable symptoms there still may be shedding which results to spreading. I feel like killing my ignorant parents for spreading this virus to me…when I was 7 my mother was sick and shared drinks with me…I wondered what was on her lips and now I have to deal with whats on mine. I hate germs. I get out breaks once or twice a year while my boyfriend gets none…asshole. I am a very attractive woman and fortunately many boys would try to kiss me knowing I have the virus plus herpes simplex one is common in 80 percent of our population… I am so upset because they said a vaccine will be created within 3 to 5 years but will only be effective to those un infected…fucken bummer!!! I hate being 19 youthful and infected although its only a week out of my life in a year. My boyfriend was back home two weeks during the summer when he lives out of state and because of cold sores i did not kiss him although he tries to kiss me….well i guess we broke the rules by kissing a little towards the end of the breakout…I hate this…god is evil for letting us have this….I am going on with this too long…sea lions main cause of decrease in their population was due to herpes…what a bitch…hopefully one day this nightmare will end. We’ll make it through you guys.

    Her, February 20, 2009 at 3:28 am
  85. Well my boyfriend came over a couple of weeks ago and when i tried 2 kiss him he was acting really weird as if he didnt wanna kiss me!!! N i was thinkin dat it was sum wit me but he told me he had a cold sore…we had sex that night but but we didnt kiss he told me it usually goes away in about a day or soooo but its been a week n he still has it n today i drunk after him n now im gettin paranoid i jux hate dis cold sore shit it is messing up my sex life!!!!

    Jasmine, August 5, 2009 at 7:54 pm
  86. i cant believe that i found this website i thought that i was the only one in the WORLD who has this. ok hers my story: i have had cold sores since i was 6. and god i hate them so much!!!! i am now 15 and when i usually get them (which differs greatly. some times i get them every few years and them sometimes i get them 3 times every 2 months.) i put vinegar on it. it burns like hell and it smells but it really works. it usually scabs in about 3-4 days. but this time is different. i got this one about a week ago. my usual methods of getting rid of them is not working. (my methods are to use vinegar and pick the scab. i know i shouldnt pick the scab. but it helps.) now it has scabbed twice and it seems thst when it scabs if it comes in contact with moisture it unscabs itself if that makes sense. and it is finally looking that its going away. but when i pick at it, it looks like it might scar. so my questions are: is there any way that i can stop it from scarring??? and is there something that can get rid of it in a few days or if possible overnight??? actually any advice on them can help.

    cold sore hater, August 8, 2009 at 4:58 pm
  87. I’m glad I found you guys. I’m 24 yours old, and I’ve been getting these things since I was 4 yrs old. I typically get them on average 1-2 times a year, and the longest that I have gone without a cold sore is 2 yrs. About a year ago I started getting them very often (1 every other month), so I decided to talk to my doctor about it. I used over the counter drugs like Abreva, which doesn’t do anything for me and Carmex, which seems to work better. My doctor presribed Acyclovir for me, and I take it when I get an outbreak. This antiviral drug works by inhibiting the virus from replicating, and works best when taken at the first signs of an itch. Yesterday I noticed that I had an itch (after flu-like symptoms over the past couple of days) and started taking the drug imediately. This go-round of cold sores seem to be more severe than usual, but the medicine is bringing the virus to a haul. I don’t mean to type too much, but my point is that if you suffer from cold sores, go see your doctor and ask about treatment. My doctor is a firm believer in taking antiviral meds for cold sores, and no one should have to suffer. Hopefully, they will make a vaccine soon…. I don’t know or think it will cure the people that already have the virus, but I hope that it will greatly reduce the frequency of outbreaks.

    john doe, August 19, 2009 at 10:28 pm
  88. I have a c.s now and i only got it like half way through last night at a party, it’s on the top right side of my lip. I didn’t kiss anyone who’d had one and i’ve just finished my period. I’ve only had c.s’s a couple of times. I kissed my bf a couple of times last night aswell, but i dont think it touched his lip. Does that mean that he will get one too? Hes never had one before..And he said his parents never had either. Pleaseee helpp!?!?

    Moo, August 23, 2009 at 2:59 am
  89. had a bad c. s. o on lower lip,took me a day and a half to built the courage to see a dr. he gave me acyclovir cream and pills, sucks though 15 grams of da ointment will run u 200 dollars! anynway after a straight week of calling in sick to work, it finally getting over them just have one huge scab that wont stop bleeding now i have to show up to work with it and face the music, god bless everyone whose life is affected by this virus, keep your head up and remember there will be betters times soon

    hid for over a week!!, September 1, 2009 at 6:50 pm
  90. i start having cold sores a year ago. i bit the skin off my lip and then went roller scating in a cold wind/weather…so 2 days after i woke up from eatcing my lips really bad…on the morning all my litps were covered with bubbles…that night while i was asleep i eatched my lips and transfered it to both of my eyes…now i have a outburst around 4 times a year. the come all over my lips and around my eyes…the itch really really bad…i use abreva on my lips and around my eyes…on the eyes it goes faster away and doesnt have bubbles around the eyes if i put cream right when a little red around my eyes apears. for example yesterday morning i for sake pput some abreva on my lips, that night i got in fight with my bf. we went to the movie and i cried for an hour then an hour later my eye got puffy and little red…this morning i had red around both of my eyes but not lips…left eye got really puffy and now eatching…so i got cold sore bc i was stressed and bc i used cream on my lips it didnt burst there. idk what to do im tireed of having 4 to 5 outbreaks a year. they itch like crazy

    natasha, October 10, 2009 at 8:10 pm
  91. You guys are lucky! I started getting them this June, and have since gotten 1 or 2 a month! I can’t handle it!!!

    monica, November 1, 2009 at 6:10 pm
  92. you guys i had oral with my boyfriend and i developed cold sres on my top lip. but my boyfriend hasnt been sexually active 2 other poeple, i kno because believe me he’s a virgin. so anyway, can you explain to me why i still had cold sores?

    Jessica, December 15, 2009 at 5:34 pm
  93. I’m dealing with a particularly nasty outbreak right now, the worst one I’ve ever had. Two of them at a time! That’s never happened to me before, it’s always been just one. I tend to get 2 or 3 outbreaks a year, and I’ve gotten them since childhood. I fricken hate them, they’re so disgusting!
    2 days before Christmas too, no mistletoe for me :(


    Laura, December 23, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    penis monster, January 11, 2010 at 1:32 pm
  95. I am confused. Cold sores seems to run in my family. My mother had them, my sisters too, But my dad never caught one and Every single person I was with never caught the infection. What does it mean????? I have been tested and I AM CLEAN!!!

    Kris, January 31, 2010 at 7:03 pm
  96. Hey all, this is a great website, makes me feel less alone and gives me some support through my outbreaks. Ive been getting these bastards since I was about 13 years old, they just happened one day and now i get them every few months. I have a few all over my top lip in the scabbing stages and was supposed to go to a party this weekend but i guess that wont be happening.
    I recently started taking Lysine after i got one right after new years and thought it would help but then on monday my lips got really really dry and i didnt put and balm on them and realized i would be getting them. I find the lysine does help speed up the healing process. I take 2x 1500 mg daily while ive had it and 1000 mg daily for prevention. Maybe i need to take more on a daily basis.
    Rubbing alcohol helps dry it up and also keep it clean. I use zilactin after the rubbing alcohol which forms a coating over the sore and also helps reduce the appearance of it. When it bubbles i use a safety pin and poke the heads of the bubbles to drain them. Then jus continue with the rubbing alcohol, zilactin, lysine and vitamin c. When it scabs be careful not to let the scab wash off because then it WILL scar! Apply polysporin to the scabs to help speed healing.
    Ive been in hibernation for a few days and my brother tells me its not that big a deal but man it is. I feel like a leper and wish society wasnt so superficial where something like this was a big deal.

    Pokey Mon, February 12, 2010 at 1:57 pm
  97. When I was between 5 and 10 years old i used to have cold sores right the next day after having fever, and since then i have been free of them. Now, all of a sudden after kissing a boy one appeared in my lip exactly on the same place i always used to have it. Is there explanation for this??

    Dinamene, February 18, 2010 at 4:38 pm
  98. I’m a 20 year old, Female. (Pretty..hehe) Anyways,
    Around two years ago I went to my gynecologist
    to get tested for EVERYTHING– I came out negative in everything except Herpes
    type 1 but I’ve NEVER EVER had ANYTHING ANYWHERE. Not even a tiny itty bit of anything. My question is I’ve had a BF since then and we’ve kissed, had sex, oral and he never had anything. About a year ago he had a small irritation by nostril with tiny red bumps…it went away in a few days, now the same thing, same place happened a week ago just slightly more irritated (This has to be pure coincidence but same month too) Once again I’ve NEVER had ANYTHING down there or on my face. Could this have been my fault?

    PurpleMango, February 24, 2010 at 12:25 am
  99. Ok so I’m a 25 year old female and I’ve been getting cold sores since i was little. I always assumed it was hereditary cause my dad and my two brothers also get them. I have been reading some of these posts and some of you have said that possibly a parent can kiss you and give it to you. the only thing weird about that is my mom has never had one. Just wanted to point that out. In my house it’s a normal occurance for one of us to have a cold sore and we even make fun of each other for it. I just think people take it too seriously. I mean trust me I dont like getting them or having people outside my family seeing me with one, but we all have to live our lives. Besides, you would be surprised by how many people you know actually get them. My best friend gets them and so does her sister, both of which have been getting them since they were also kids. My other friend’s husband gets them and said she has even kissed him while he’s had one and has never gotten a cold sore. A few years ago I was embarrassed cause one side of my mouth was cold sore ridden. A guy I was seeing wanted to see me while I had this problem, but I told him I just couldn’t that I was sick. He wouldnt take no for an answer and in the end I decided to just tell him the truth. To my surprise he told me he gets them too even offered to give me his abreva hahaha, but I told him I aleready had my own. I guess I’m just telling all of this because I want people to realize it’s not the end of the world and that you’re not disgusting if you get them. By the way I only get a cold sore once maybe twice a year and I have never given any guy that i have ever kissed a cold sore. If you feel like you get them too often or they are really bad you should just go to your doctor’s office and get a perscription. Thanks for listening and good luck to those of you who have one right now cause I do lol.

    kels, March 6, 2010 at 2:28 am
  100. As most of you said, I am so glad I found you! Im 18 and I currently have my first cold sore ever. I started yesterday and I got abreva first thing this morning. I was honestly just freaking out, and all of your posts made me feel SOO much better! I felt so alone and confused. As if I’m some dirty person or something! I was also trying to think of how to tell my boyfriend, which isn’t making this disgusting thing go away any sooner lol No surprise, the summer sun has finally arrived and I was outside all weekend. Not only that, but I’ve been stressing a lot because of graduation. Oh and the cherry on top of it all? Today would be day 1 of my period this month lol so thank you guys for making me feel a bit more normal and for all the amazing advice. I’m thinking camping out on my couch for the weekend to wait out this storm on my face isn’t such a bad idea after all. Telling my boyfriend is still a big question in my head right now though..ill try and be as nonchalant with it as possible. Thanks again guys!

    mandy, May 28, 2010 at 12:02 am
  101. ive gotten 2 cold sores in my entire life im almost 25 yrs old and im pregnant wit my 4th child jus had all those std tests done and i do not have herpes. but i was wondering what else cold cause me to get cold sores. had 1st cold sore at age 12 2nd at 24(12 yrs in between…

    robin, June 21, 2010 at 10:47 pm
  102. what else causes cold sores besides herpes

    robin, June 21, 2010 at 10:48 pm
  103. Never had cold sores, though everyone I know has them. I probably have the virus, though. It just seems like it doesn’t ever wanna wake up :P My body must be uber comfy or something.

    Sonya, July 25, 2010 at 4:02 am
  104. does vygone really work?!?

    hey im 16 years old and have been suffering from fever blisters/cold sores since i was 11. I’ve never understood why this has happened to me. Everytime i get one i feel like its the end of the world and i just want to hide until its gone. But reality is i cant just hide away for a week or two. I usually get them every 9 or 10 months but sometimes more frequently. I have researched the enternet up and down but i am really sceptical of what really works. I have been taking the l-lysine for about 4 months now and a take one 1,000 mg tablet a day but unfortunatly that isnt working for me since i have a c.s. right now. I have heard of this appliance called vygone and it claims to zap the cold sore away before it starts to get worse. The price for it is around 150 bucks so i dont want to buy it if its doesnt really work. So I was just wondering if there is anybody out there that uses this product and if actually really works. I hope there is something out there that really works for me because I feel like a total outkast and today our society is SO judgemental its almost unbearable. For everybody out there that suffers from these ungodly horrible things I know how you feel. Nothing is wrong with us i guess you can say we just got unlucky. Hopefully one day they will make a cure for this but until then just try and keep your head up!!!!

    birdie, July 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm
  105. I got cold sores at 24 on my hand from a jacket at a camping trip…very odd.
    when the dr tests you for HS they don’t test for simplex 1, so Robin, you got HS1 if you have cold sores, nothing else breaks out like that. I also had a facial out break when I was about due with my baby, and dr warned me not to let ANY fluid from the sores touch the baby, b/c brain damage and no immunities. That son contracted HS1 from a dirty utensil at a dirty ‘friend’s house. he was herpes free for 20 years, the first outbreak was monstrous on his face, as is common. I have been outbreak free for years and lately, I hurt my back and whole body was physically low and then the sun caused herpes to show up on my chin…still fighting it 7 weeks later with massive doses valcycolvir 2 grams twice a day and denavir cream. got some acyclovir ointment coming from dr. so, all you guys, it can be worse. thank G-d yours is light. unfortunately
    that same virus, the family of herpes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, shingles, chicken pox, hs1 and hs2 are stupid nasty virus’ hiding in our blood. PS an acid diet causes it to come on strong, so stop oranges, strawberries, and dairy. read up on alkaline foods. and take L-lysine

    mE, August 30, 2010 at 9:50 pm
  106. hey guys man i hate getting cold sores they are the worst i have been gettin them since i was like 5 or 6 im 17 rite now im a cute guy and like to party and club (at a teens club) but when i get one i just want to hide from everyone, i have 4 other siblings but im the only child who gets them :( i wish sum1 could cure cold sores once and for all!!

    nano17, September 9, 2010 at 5:28 pm
  107. and i usually get them no more than twice a year i get them when the weather is cold though, i have friends who get them too, i have one right now and i hate goin to skool like this X( im so glad im not the only who feels this way thanks guys :)

    nano17, September 9, 2010 at 5:49 pm
  108. I too get them and have gotten them most of my life. A majority of my family gets them as well! I have heard valtrex works, but i have also had a dentist use a laser on them when i first get them and i have never gotten them again in those spots!!! it is amazing!!! I currently have one and am annoyed because i didn’t have a chance to go get it zapped! There are very few dentist that use this new tool but i highly recommend it!!!!

    annoyedaswell, September 10, 2010 at 6:20 pm
  109. so if you can have HSV-1 and not get cold sores and bout 50-80% of all americans have Herpes simplex type 1 then more in likely its not just me who has it?? most of my frineds or family members could possibly have it and not kno…
    i try to talk to my mom bout herpes and help her understand more about it but she wont listen i have no one to talk to bout my problems with…

    Skoobi Doo, September 21, 2010 at 7:26 pm
  110. use tea tree oil keep dabbing on it keep the infection at bay and heals quicker

    wendy, October 16, 2010 at 6:37 am
  111. hi,
    i am 14 years of age i have not had a cole saw for over 6 months and now i have 1 and im really scared beacuse it covers the whole bottom of my lip does enybody no how to get rid of them ????

    Taylor, November 17, 2010 at 12:47 pm
  112. to get rid of your cold sores when it starts to tingle put vineigar on it and when it has come out put smoothlip cream on it, it really does work the next day….:)

    Taylor, November 17, 2010 at 12:58 pm
  113. Hey there. My name is Marc. I am 22-years-old. Here is the thing, I have had cold sores for over 21-years. I’ve learned to accept that I have it. Best thing you can do before you date someone, is let them know you have it, because if you don’t that is actually illegal. Also. You need to accept the fact that you have them and move on with your life and stop being embarrassed. 2nd, Go out and buy Super Lysine Plus(+). It has Garlic in it which actually kills the Cold Sore Faster. Other thing you can do is avoid taking, hot hot showers or baths, therefore causing Irritation to the skin. You can also take A Washcloth with semi-hot water and some hand soap and dab it on or around the cold-sore area where it is infected, itching, burning. Also — take ice cubes and hold them on there. HSV-1 is normal for everybody to have. Some just don’t break out. Try to avoid lots of high-anxiety situations and stress, Stress being the main culprit due to the outbreak of HSV-1. I hope this helps you guys.


    Marc, November 30, 2010 at 2:20 pm
  114. i only get these annoyin bumps on my mouth when i’m really sick, stress or sometimes when i have an allergic reaction?? so i kno how it feels although I’m not sure if i have herpes or not you guys need to stop worrying herpes type one is a virus juss lik the common flu now herpes type two is a transmitted disease, two completly different things!! you guys hear herpes and act lik its somethin bad but really we should juss call it a virus because thats what it is and it can only be passed on when its active juss lik the flu

    christine, December 4, 2010 at 4:26 pm
  115. This was a good read, with great information.

    Hanley, December 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm
  116. Ouch. My lips sore. Always the corners of the mouth. No obvious pattern to them apart from they’ve been proper regular just lately. Found this site looking for what the doc will say when I tell her I’ve had one more than 14 days. And now I’m off to have a little burning and burial ceremony for my toothbrush, that should help. And the Lysine. This sounds good…Getting a stash of zovirax ready whenever I feel an itch would be a plan.

    Being told that I get them when I’m run down does not really help much. I don’t know when I’m feeling run down, but, like everybody else I presume, just get on with it. I do find that the appearance of a blister, redness or tingling, is a pretty good indicator that somebody I really like is about to show an interest in me. Only innocent flirting mind. The kind which (if I had half decent social skills anyway) could possibly lead to something. But I find myself making an exit, or worse, glazing over and running (mentally) to my cave. I come across as ignorant, and, probably deservably, spend the next 2-3 months cold-sore-and-woman free.

    I’m not going to ask for help here, this forum has already provided enough of that (self confidence especially, I was considering becoming a confirmed, rather than reluctant, celibate, but I was) once told that there was some kind of conspiracy about this, in that the makers of acilovir treatment, also made a cure/vaccine, but hid it so that they could make a killing on the cream and pills? This is on the internet, so someone must know about this.

    Also, the people proud that they’re in the 15% of people who don’t have it? 1st…why are you here – and if you’ve an answer for that,
    why did you comment? Theres lots of diseases which I don’t have, but I can’t think why I’d want to rub sufferers’ noses in anything.

    Rundownclown, January 24, 2011 at 7:11 pm
  117. My boyfriend and I didn’t know inactive cold sores could be transferred to the genital area during oral until I was diagnosed with genital herpes.

    They’re not “just cold sores.” Please, be careful and avoid doing what we did.

    Melissa, March 24, 2011 at 8:56 pm
  118. I just got one last night, I started reading this and freaked out :(. To make it worse my bf steals my chapstick when he goes to work! So I had to tell him not to use it cause I have a cold sore, which it quite embarrasing! I have had them before, but not sure when they started. They come from time to time, and this time I assume from the sun. I am a tennis coach and always in weather extremes, makes it hard since I will have this and be talking to parents :(…a lot of my students parents are doctors, and one a OBGYN! FML :( tomorrow stock up on remedies from the drug store!

    Alicia, April 18, 2011 at 6:36 am
  119. I have a question I would appreciate an answer to.
    About a week ago received oral sex from my boyfriend,
    And two days layer he developed a cold sore.
    I have never had one in my life, nor do I have herp 1,
    Because he developed. Cold sore two days later I am thinking that I may soon develop genital herpes, does this seem to be logical thinking?
    Or am I in the clear…
    I’m going to go get tested again next week to be sure.

    Selenium, May 10, 2011 at 10:16 pm
  120. I’m 12, and never had sex. All ive done is kiss. But i get cold sores ALL the time.Even when i dont kiss boys. They even got to the point where i was hospitalized. If you think that picture is gross, mine is 5 times worse and is all around my mouth, && i get several at a time. When i go to school, everybody makes fun of me.. I dont know what to do. I get them at least 3 times a month :/ I sometimes get them when im on my period, which makes things worse cuz im so darn moody && when people ask me what it is i go off :/ .. HELPP!

    Kimmm, September 28, 2011 at 2:38 pm
  121. Im a 17year old girl and I’ve been dealing with this since I was born. My grandma passed it to my mom and then I got it from my mom. My doctor says its genetic and usually you only pass it to one person, ie my gram to my mom and my mom to me. I used to get them almost every month for years till I finally started using abreva and then they died down. When I would get sick or stressed they would flair up worse than usual and they wouldn’t just be on my lips but on my chin. Between my nose and mouth and on the inside of my lips. Then about 2 years ago I started getting hives on my face and chest, and after talking to my doctor apparently my virus had manifested itself into hives also. This is a rare form and I was put on valtrex that helps both but if I get a flare up of either one the other soon follows. I know how people feel but your not alone out there and no matter what anyone says you are not a freak who had confident and don’t get stressed!

    Alex, October 17, 2011 at 2:53 am
  122. Hi everyone, I am a 50 year old woman and Ive had fever blisters and cold sores since childhood. I was the only one in my family who had them. I use peroxide on them.

    I don’t wear makeup very often now but when I use my lip pencils and lipstick I often seem to get fever blisters later. I had another bout of cellulitis a few months ago and the fever caused a outbreak of blisters across the bottom of my lower lip. I’ve been getting them frequently since. I am also under stress on a regular basis.

    Do I have to throw out this expensive makeup??? I could use disposable lip brushes on new lipstick. But there is no other way to apply lip liner which is a must for me. I have not used them during an outbreak but I have had to after before all traces were gone. I don’t know what to do about this. I’m going to insist my doctor prescribe something. If my new lip makeup is going to get contaminated too at some point tossing it out seems pointless, sigh…

    Ruby, November 6, 2011 at 7:16 pm
  123. Ok so im kinda scared… i am 12 and i have been getting cold sores all my life but i never thought it was a big deal. Until i just reaserched it and found that it is very rare to get a cold sore on your eye. I get them on my eye half the time that i get cold sores. No doctors ever even believe that it is a coldsore. Does this mean that i have a bad case of herpes?!?!?!

    Katie, December 9, 2011 at 4:49 pm
  124. I am in my 20’s. I get cold sores all the time. This time I got 3 cold sores at once. I tried over the counter creams and they did not work. My doctor gave me valtrex and it seems to work, if I take it in time. But I feel like when ever I get them I never want to leave the house and I have yet to see anyone else have them too! Cold sores suck because people say, Gross, you have herpes! That makes me feel like I have an STD, when I don’t. I have had cold sores forever and don’t even know how I got them. But all I do know is I can not help it and have to deal with it when I don’t want to. I wish they would come up with a cure.

    Jennifer, February 5, 2012 at 11:07 pm
  125. I am not sure if anyone will read this comment for a while but I felt it would be a good idea to post anyways.

    I have had coldsores since I was a toddler, and I am 22 yrs old now. Guys, you can’t help it when you get outbreaks, there is nothing to be ashamed about and there is DEFINITELY no reason to hide-out! I do not know the statistics on it, but a majority of people have the virus, just some are lucky and it does not show up.

    Yes, I think the blisters look ugly, but if someone asked me about them or commented on them I would be informative. They are a virus, they are genetic, and a bit uncomfy.

    Just remember, there is nothing to be ashamed about. They are a part of your life, whether or not you want them (which I do not), so just learn to accept them and yourself when you have an outbreak!

    Stayci, February 15, 2012 at 2:14 pm
  126. I forgot to mention I stumbled on this website because I was researching them as I am having an abnormal break out in my opinion. Yesterday morning I woke up with 5 blisters….no that is not an exxageration. And today, another one decided to join the party, so I am up to 6.

    Stayci, February 15, 2012 at 2:15 pm
  127. Cold sores on the mouth CAN cause GENITAL HERPES!! A few years ago my brother gave his g/f genital herpes by having oral sex with her when he had a cold sore on his mouth. He does not have genital herpes. She had such a bad intitial case of it, she could not walk and now she has it for life. The docs told them they should have never had oral sex when one has a cold sore on the mouth as it will turn into genital herpes if the virus on the mouth touches that area. Very scary.

    Julie, March 2, 2012 at 7:09 am
  128. I have got maybe 3 cold sores my whole life, I am 24 by the way. Up until recently I have learned that a “Cold Sore” is a form of herpes, although this is true, I still feel as if a “Cold Sore” is just like the common cold, which my cold sores always seem to come during or right after I have the common cold. I would never want to except the fact that I have the Herpes virus (EWWW). I mean when I see people with Cold sores, I think that it’s gross, so I totally understand the way people look at me when I have one. I am so scared to share drinks, lip gloss, use a public restroom, or for that fact any restroom besides my own. If it’s so easy to get the Herpes Virus, what the hell are we to do?? I haven’t had a cold sore for years, I am wondering if I got it from the bartender who was serving me my drinks, her mouth was covered with them. I actually remember talking with my cousin who was there with me and saying, “If we get HERPES, we are coming back here to kick some ass” LOL. Well sure enough I got one, is that coincidence or did I really get it from her? I guess all it takes is for her to touch her mouth then my glass(YUCK)!!!!, and since I already had the virus I am more prone to getting them. I honestly don’t think you should be able to work if you are having an outbreak, right? I haven’t left the house for a week, well maybe once and I was having anxiety the whole time. I hate Cold Sores, I wish they would burn in hell, because that how I feel when I have one. I am hoping that I don’t get another one for many more years, and to think that I could give my BF genital Herps when I don’t even have a cold sore WTF, what really is this shit, It’s fucking gross if you ask me. I want to drench my entire body in hand sanitizer!! I feel like I am in a Resident Evil movie, You could get infected at any time BEWARE!!!!!!!!

    IFeelGross, April 27, 2012 at 1:32 pm
  129. I get cold sores a couple times a year and have been getting them since I was a kid. I’m now 34. For the last 8 months, however, I haven’t had one. During this period, I’ve been eating broccoli a few times a week and trying to eat more vegetables in general. Could be a coincidence, but it seems to have a positive effect; I’ve been sick a couple times over this period and still not had an outbreak. There’s some research that touts broccoli and brussel sprouts as inhibiting the virus. Here’s an excerpt from some online publication:

    “there is evidence that suggests that a compound called indole-3-carbinol, found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables such as brussel sprouts and cabbage, may slow down or stop the herpes simplex virus.

    Read more:

    Worth a try to do some preventative care rather than treating it after the fact.
    Anyone else try altering their diet and have success?

    EatYourVeggies, May 21, 2012 at 9:04 pm



    Misha, May 23, 2012 at 9:17 am
  131. Unfortunately I am one of those unlucky ones that gets ‘cold sores’ (HSV-1) in my genital area :( Although my outbreaks haven’t been too bad, the stigma is unbearable. Please disclose whether you get cold sores with your partner. Also, taking about 10g of vitamin C a day and 4g of lysine have helped me eliminate my outbreaks. Eliminating teas, coffee, chocolate and nuts (especially foods high in arginine) from your diet help reduce outbreaks. There’s plenty of studies and proof about this.

    Liz, July 10, 2012 at 9:30 pm
  132. i have a cold sore at them moment and the top of it is starting to come off. is this ok or should i try to keep it in contact?

    Tayla, July 24, 2012 at 8:48 pm
  133. I’ve just noticed a cold sore on my lower lip 20min ago and quickly searched ways to remove it and came across this website. What must i do to prevent it from growing further, i remember getting one last year in June. Help fast.

    justnoticedItnow, July 30, 2012 at 8:18 am
  134. i have cold sore since when i was in college and it has come out when i am very stress or eat something that causes to come out. now I feel like a cold sore was coming when I saw a bump on my upper lip left corner. I took valacyclovir 500 tablet for 3 days and it die down and not noticeable. I had a OB about 1 1/2 years ago, but since then I have not had one to the point when it blister and crusted up. I use Lysine plus cold sore treatment and it help contain the cold sore to come out. Also I use camphor ointment when i do get a OB on the blister to dry it fast put it on 3 to 4 times a day, then I use Lysine ointment when i sleep at night. But now I am wondering do I have to take valacyclovir or acyclovir rest of my life so my cold sore don’t come out as a suppressant treatment. I got it from a girl who kiss me on the side of my cheek very close to my lips in college, stupid move on my part. Look what i got now. :(

    ihatethis, September 26, 2012 at 8:25 pm
  135. I have never had a cold sore in 38 years of life. I know I carry this virus though. Every so often, I’ll feel one under the skin, but it will never come break out. I must be blessed. According to another sight I was reading, around 85% of all adults are infected. So, all of you out there worrying about passing it on, I say big deal if you do. With 85% infected, it is very possible you might never meet anyone not infected. As for those of you that are angry because you got infected, give the rest of these people a break. Chances are pretty good that you have spread your fair share without even knowing it. Anti virals are the only thing proven effective against an outbreak. Everything else treats symtoms. Good luck everyone.

    Lucky One, November 3, 2012 at 7:30 pm
  136. I’ve been getting cold sores all my life! I have pictures of me as a baby covered with them…You’d think I’d be at least some what used to dealing with them but the discomfort and humiliation is still the same after 20 years. I usually get 4-6 out breaks a year and have tried literally every product Walmart/CVS/Walgreens has to offer. The best advice I could give somebody is to go straight to your doctor for some costly but highly effective prescription ointment. I’ve been using a cream that is actually for legit genital herpes…yeah, not fun to go pick up at the pharmacist but it cuts the healing time in half!

    HerpDerp, November 12, 2012 at 11:56 am
  137. I got my first cold sore at 14 before I kissed anyone. The first two years they appeared a lot now I can only feel the burning/tingling feeling a couple of times a year but I get no sores. It has been two years since I got a cold sore. Maybe it does stop after a few years.

    Lenny Face, December 15, 2012 at 7:52 am
  138. For those who say cold sores are normal. Ummm, no way. I’m almost 50 and have never had a cold sore, nobody in my family has ever had a cold sore. I didn’t even know what they were until I saw someone in the Army with sores all over his lips. And it may be something genetic or at least able to be passed down. I married someone who got them and his whole family on his mother’s side gets them. Thankfully our kids have never gotten one.

    dawn, December 24, 2012 at 10:21 am
  139. I’ve always had these cold sores since I was a kid. I usually get them after a fever or when I’m stressed or upset. Last year I realized it is an HSV-1 but I didn’t pay much attention. Yesterday I got a new one and I started searching today about the virus and the cold sore and I kind of freaked out! I didn’t think it would be as contagous as it is! anyway I felt much more comfortable when I read your posts..I’m not alone..I hope they’ll find some CURE and all of us will not get them again.

    Hopeful, February 7, 2013 at 1:28 pm
  140. Hi I have a cold sore and heard that if you kiss a baby while having one it can be deadly. Well my son is almost 8 months old and I am really freaked out. I had one back in December and didn’t know it could be deadly so I know I kissed him. What should I do???

    Julia, March 15, 2013 at 10:31 am
  141. Hi everyone. As much as it sucks that we all get them, I feel a bit better knowing I’m not alone in this. I’ve been getting cold sores since I was about 8 or 9 years old. I’ve been fortunate that I only would get them maybe once or twice a year but the older I’ve gotten, I’ve been going years without them. Well I’m 23 now and was really stressed out a couple weeks ago, and bam! Outbreak. Haven’t had one for the past 2-3 years *sigh* It’s right on top of my bottom lip and has been spreading around my lips since. I’m so frustrated and down. I’ve never had it this bad before. I usually use Tea Tree Oil because that’s worked wonders for me before, but didn’t have any (and didn’t have any usual warning tingles!), so been using Eucalyptus Oil instead. It was ok but not showing the improvement as quickly as I hoped. Found my Tea Tree Oil, but I think it just dried out my lip, so even better for the stupid virus to spread (lips chapped/dry). Got Famvir yesterday, seems to have helped them crust overnight, but also found a few new ones on my top lip today *sigh* Been using Zovirax since last night as well to help stop the virus from replicating and speed healing. I don’t care about crusting – I just want them to stop spreading!! If by Sunday night it’s still spreading, gonna have to go see a doc. Not sure what they can do, but no idea what else to do at this point. Sorry for the rant, but no one understands what this is like unless they suffer from cold sores themselves! I hope they find a cure for this soon because this is just horrible. It’s nice to hear though that even when they’re bad, they do go away for most people. Fingers crossed for that cure!!!

    Anna, April 4, 2013 at 7:12 pm
  142. gnc amino acid l-lysine 500 mg take two tablets three times a day,works for me helps rid them fast.

    carl, August 1, 2013 at 12:05 am
  143. Im 15 i think its my first cold sore. I have had a cold sore for almost two months its gotten to a small bump on my upper lip does that mean its healing?? Or does that mean its scared? Can u give me advice on what i could do? Plz anything will be helpful at this point im about to go back to school soon :\

    angie, August 12, 2013 at 2:00 am
  144. Oil Of Oregano P73 stops cold sores dead. Topically and orally. Then also take 2000-3000 milligrams of L Lysine. And you’re good !

    This stops cold sores dead, August 27, 2013 at 12:16 am
  145. I’m so sick of people trying to make herpes type 1 not so bad..and herpes type 2 ..oh that’s the real monster…when it’s the SAME VIRUS AND THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS LOCATION…if you have a herpe sore on your mouth you most certainly can pass it while giving oral sex!! So I wish that people would stop separating the two..because dumb people may think hey this is type I can give her oral and nothing’s going to happen…that’s bull..because it can be passed..and type 1 in my eyes is the worst..because it can’s even been known although rare to go to your brain..yes look it up..and it’s visible and embarrassing..if you have sores’s herpes..DEAL WITH IT..fever blisters..cold sores..different names same thing..herpes emerges under different extreme weather changes..hence cold sores..sun..and while sick..fever blisters..get educated people..and oral sex isn’t the safest form of sex..7 diseases are spread through oral!

    Dane, September 5, 2013 at 11:55 am
  146. It may be a placebo effect but I have found that applying a thin slice of garlic to the site at the first sign of tingling helps to reduce the length and severity of the outbreak. After doing that for several years, the frequency of outbreaks seems to have been reduced as well.

    And in the For What It’s Worth department, I originally only had sores on my upper lip (right side) suggesting that the virus is inhabiting a branch of the Facial Nerve. Once I had to have dental work done on both upper and lower teeth at the same time and the Dentist used the same Novacaine syringe to do a nerve block on the Facial Nerve and then moved down to do a block on the Mandibular Nerve. I few days later I had an outbreak on both the upper and lower lips. I think the virus was transferred by the syringe.

    Don A in Pennsyltucky, October 6, 2013 at 10:10 am
  147. I’m amazed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and amusing,
    and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head.
    The issue is an issue that not enough people are speaking intelligently about.

    I’m very happy that I came across this in my hunt for something regarding this.

    best herpes cure, February 2, 2014 at 6:18 am
  148. The guy in the pictures cold sore has nothing on the one that cropped up on my lip over night.
    it literally takes up over half of my top lip

    Katy, April 22, 2014 at 8:56 pm
  149. I’ve never had a cold sore

    Astrid, August 9, 2014 at 4:09 am
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  151. I have been getting coldsores since I was 2 or 3. And get them quite often ; more during my younger years though. I got them from when my sister kissed me as a baby with a coldsore. I have never gotten myself diagnosed but I get them all the time so I’m gonna assume that I bave herpes type 1 . I never really payed attention to them when I was younger , but started to when I was around 13/14. It was super embarrassing going to school and feeling as if everyone was judging me for it. I’ve never found abreva to help , but I do use carmex , which is more affordable ( it’s like 3$) and works better then any of the expensive big brand names.

    Lucy, September 21, 2014 at 11:02 am
  152. Hi, I never got a cold sore until i was 54, then i got transverse myelitis is there a connection as i now get one every year. ?

    Jo moran, October 9, 2014 at 3:33 pm
  153. I’m 20 years old, and I’ve been getting cold sores my whole life. Growing up I’d usually one a year, it that. It’d happen when it started to get cold. Recently, since I’ve been in college, I’ve been getting them a lot more frequently. The past 3 months I’ve already gotten 3 separate outbreaks (I’m currently in a fight right now with them). I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the all nighters in the library before big exams. My mom gets them too, and she’s always given me the zovirax that she’s prescribed, but I didn’t have access to it the past couple so I used Abreva. With either of those if I can catch it at the initial tingle then the outbreak can be prevented entirely. If it’s too late I’ve found the zovirax to work the best, it’ll get rid of it in a couple days.

    Mike, November 14, 2014 at 7:35 am
  154. hey just a quick note and im sorry if it has been repeated..but they call it the kissing disease because that is all it takes.. and not from your GF or BF or anything… most cases-it seems- are actually transferred at birth from mom or dad when they first kiss their child… so if your wondering why you are 12 and never kissed anyone or anything and have cold sores…{REMEMBER STRESS IS THE BIGGEST REASON FOR OUTBREAKS NO MATTER WHAT! lower that STRESS!!!}…

    anyway..if that is you.,,ask mom or dad..most likely they gave it to ya!- peter

    peter force, November 22, 2014 at 3:40 pm
  155. Hello all. I’m 27 years old and am going threw first cold sore encounter. It SUCKS. I was tested one month ago for several std including HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis, Hepatitis b and c, herpes simplex 1 and 2 to name a few. All the results came back negative. Last week I went in for a physical. Everything looks great and I’m “healthy young man. Keep it up” Now this crap with cold sores. How is this happening? I feel stupid, disgusting, ashamed.

    Dave, December 28, 2014 at 9:22 pm
  156. I look after old folk and one old lady told me it’s common for little children to get them (babies) because people kiss them a lot, lol not many people think of that I know I didn’t.

    Heather, January 6, 2015 at 7:44 pm
  157. Hi everyone, I’m 44 years old and I got a really bad case of oral cold sores when I was 22 it was so bad I had to go to the hospital and they thought it was strep!! The meds they gave me made it WORSE!! I so wanted to die I had sores all over my mouth and down my throat and was miserable! Don’t wish that on no boby!!! Well ever since I still get them and they are not fun at all as I know everyone would agree they are not welcome. Sometimes I just get one an other times I get 3-4 and not sure if any one else feels this way but when I get them I feel sick like I am coming down with the flu.. I feel ache , fever, sore throat and run down… Would like to know if others feel the same way when they get cold sores. Thanks Wendy

    Wendy, January 31, 2015 at 9:32 pm
  158. My ex from 5 years ago told me she had it after we went out for 2 months, one day I seen it on her lips and said “ahh herpes” she tried kissing me cause she was angry at my comment and assured me I wouldn’t get it, however I refused to kiss her than 3 days later she asked me to come see her at night it was the first time she wore lipstick which I fought was odd and she wanted to kiss I asked her if she still had she said “no”, now after 5 years I realised she did have it active but was covering it with lipstick to infect me.
    From what I can remember I’ve had 1 cold sore on my top lip since than but today I feel tingling on a part of my lip so I’ve realised she may of infected me I’m going to do a blood test tomorrow I hope I’m wrong but I’m 90 percent sure she gave me it :( and she did it on purpose by covering the cold sore with lipstick and kissing me as a type of “haha you have it now”.

    Sam, February 1, 2015 at 3:48 am
  159. Hey well i woke up today and had cold sore and then by night comes its a fat lip and now the part where its fat has blood in so im worried no clue help me

    Joanne Quilter, February 12, 2015 at 8:50 pm
  160. I been to the emergency room twice to plan parenthood and to my primary doctor. I was exposed to herpes. For 17 days I been having burning itchy sensation on my face and lips. I just noticed a few blisters on the back of my tongue and sides they bother me when I eat or drink.. Everyone tells me that dont think is herpes. I took the test today. I have to wait a few days for the results

    holdinghope, February 16, 2015 at 6:50 pm
  161. every oneEveryone tells me that dont think is herpes. I took the test today. I have to wait a few days for the results

    holdinghope, February 16, 2015 at 6:51 pm
  162. I have terrible cold sores. hemoform serum works wonders. When applied everyday, the sores never get those ugly huge scabs. And the best part is they don’t hurt. I would highly recommend this to anyone who suffers with cold sores

    Caitlin Yeoman, February 26, 2015 at 12:56 pm
  163. Mine are very small. I found that from the very first time I was infected they have gotten smaller, almost cant see them, Im very thankful for that, in saying all of this, wanted to let you all know my new brothers, lol I know its a bitch! but we have it. back to what I was saying, I found a way to get pass the CRUSTY STAGE but this is what you are going to need, mix the salt and the alcohol together in a small container, and when you have done that, you will use the needle after sanitized,to bust the blister
    one by one, very carefully, then use the q tip in your mix and put it on the sore, trust me i have done this already 3times and it works!!! keep repeating doing the day. leave it on the sore, and you will see heal very fast, WITH OUT THE CRUSTY STAGE!

    1 needle

    2 Rubbing Alcohol

    3 salt

    4 Q tip

    johnQ, March 4, 2015 at 3:22 pm
  164. Hi! I’ve never had any idea of ehat a cold sore is or how it can be spread. Now, I’m stuck with it and I’m feeling SUPER embarrassed. *sigh* I can’t do anything about it now, and I’ll just stop blaming myself since it wasn’t my fault. It really isn’t OUR fault for having this virus spread in our body. I’m 18 and in my school, there’s this girl (she likes to address herself as bestie) used to peck me on my lips a lot, the usual girly things we do. And since then, there was one blister on the bottom of my lip, I thought of it as a pimple and popped it LOL. And it spread like crazy, it was all over my top lips and a few on my bottom. Ughh, super embarrassed, I couldn’t even hide it. I bought Abreva but it is for the early stages so it didn’t do anything except dry my lips out. Now, my lips are super dry, and there are scabs and crusts. Right at the two sides of my lips, there’s a scab and whenever I open my mouth to talk, it rips open. SO FRUSTRATING. And I see one more coming out on my bottom lip. This is the first time ever and I don’t know if I can cope with it. I am utterly scared and shattered. Especially thinking it’s HERPES. FRICKEN HERPES!!
    And idk why, but now there’s red itchy rashes on my left cheek, behind both of my ears and chin. Idk what it is, I’ve never been allergic to anything., I’m thinking maybe it’s because of Abreva?
    Just help me please. I’m thinking about drinking Lysine daily. I don’t want this to come back!! It ruins my life.. I’m a pretty social person.
    And it’s fine if you wash your hands before you masturbate, right? You can’t get genital herpes from yourself right? Lol, someone answer me. I’m pretty freaked out over here.

    Thank you!

    feelsdifferent, March 26, 2015 at 5:18 am
  165. I’m 15, I recently had a strange patch of little bumps on my chin, so thinking it was acne I popped them and washed it good. It healed and dissapeared like I figured it would (thinking it was acne) well now several days later I saw some of these bumps on my lip. My mother told me it was a cold sore or a type of herpes really is what she said so after freaking out a bit I held hydrogen peroxide to it. I’ve been washing my hands A LOT, as I do tend to freak about things like this. Despite this, I woke up this morning to these patches on BOTH my lips and just under and on my chin and on my nose, around my nostrils. Since these outbreaks I’ve been coughing a lot, I’m now worried its on my throat causing the itching that makes me cough so much. I’ve been trying to be super careful and avoiding touching my face but it’s spread like wildfire in just a day!! Does this what happens in any other people’s outbreaks? Also, I can’t remember the last time I have shared food/drink with anyone and my boyfriend has never had an outbreak and has had tests and doesn’t have this virus, neither of my parents have ever had cold sores either. I understand stress can cause an outbreak but if I’ve never had the virus until now, it must be from some sort of contact with a person who had an outbreak, correct?

    anon, April 22, 2015 at 10:10 pm
  166. I have been getting cold sores as far back as I can remember when I was in around 4th to 8th grade I would get one every couple 04 months one the lower right hand side of my lip I would be so embarrassed that I would try to find any excuse not to go to school I would sit in front of the mirror and pick at it and that only a few it worse they started getting huge after I turned 15 i only get thembut once or twice a year and I’ve found that the best thing for them is abreva it seems to numb it so u don’t mess with it. The less you touch them the better. Touching them only makes it worse I’ve never been to a doctor about it but I’m now 25 and I get them very rarely next time I do get one tho I’m going to the doctor to get a prescription because they are still embarrassing and stressful. I feel for all of u who have these because they made my childhood a living hell whenever I got one

    Joseph, April 26, 2015 at 11:52 pm
  167. To feelsdifferent I’m a guy that’s been getting them forever and since u know 8 a guy you know I’m constantly touching myself lol 9 very never had one anywhere but the same spot by lip and I haven’t been over concerned about spreading it but since ur a girl I’d be more careful and see what strain u have I’m pretty sure I have the weaker one since it’s never spread just try not to stress because that only makes them worse trust me stress is my main trigger just catch it early with abreva and don’t touch it unless ur putting on medication when the blisters pop don’t let the fluid spread more. Keep it dry so I scabs faster ur lucky u can wear makeup and cover the pink spot when the scab come off because for me it’s a constant reminder. Just see a Dr I wish I would have.

    Joseph, April 27, 2015 at 12:05 am
  168. I just found out I got herpes 1 on my lip and I began to have two blisters underneath my bottom lip then I began to have a fever and my throat hurt which I read are some of the symptoms I went to the doctor after five days and she prescribed some medication for me and I feel like I’m getting better although I have read that the virus will forever stay in my body but does that mean I can never kiss anyone again? I also read that kissing someone on the mouth who has herpes who has herpes sores on the mouth can be infected but what if u don’t have the sore anymore? Can u also infect that person will they get the symptoms too?

    Veronica, May 31, 2015 at 1:07 am
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  170. As you all have read, Herpes is alive and tingling. I have been a nurse for 30 years and I get these buggers. I think mine come from extreme stress or when I have been very ill. I get an outbreak under my nose or on the lip. I have had them 4-5 times in my life. I have Epstein-Barr like almost everyone else. They hurt more than anything and the blisters appear way before I can treat with an anti-viral so I walk around with this huge blister on my face for a week or longer. Since I can’t cure it I try to just keep the pain down and use Campho-Phenique liquid. It is an old treatment and over the counter. I still get embarrassed and I am glad I don’t work outside the home anymore. Stress affects all of us differently and I should know better.

    Gretchen, September 20, 2015 at 2:24 pm
  171. I’m 58 years old and I started getting fever blisters/cold sores in about the 3rd grade.
    What works for me?
    This trick helps dry that pesky cold sore up quickly while speeding up the healing time too.

    Take an ordinary generic tea bag. (black tea seems to work better than green).
    Steep it in a just few tablespoons of BOILING water.
    You only want enough water to cover the tea bag.
    When it is still warm, without feeling too hot to touch it to your lips or nose, apply it to the cold sore until the bag gets cold.

    CHANGE THE BAG FREQUENTLY … it’s why I told you to get generic!

    For me it takes 4 or 5 applications, over the course of a couple of hours. But then I can generally feel an unpleasant tingling feeling when I have a cold sore coming on. However, it works almost as quickly with those that get to the blistery/pimply point too! Just takes a little longer and a few more applications to get them drying out.

    Just don’t freak out because the tea does stain skin (and clothing). Baby wipes generally remove the tea residue while being very gentle and more importantly disposable. Just remember to DAB don’t RUB or you’ll get more scabbing to deal with.

    The tannin in the tea seems to dry a cold sore up very quickly, at least it has for me and the few friends I have told about it. The healing time with the last one I got was just 5 days. Sure it was still there, but it didn’t scream “OMG! LOOK IT’S HERPES!”

    Toss any make-up, lipsticks, sunscreen sticks and toothbrushes, basically anything that has been near the sore to prevent another flare up!

    Another perk is that I can use the remainder of the tea bags to make Hot or Iced Tea … and you can’t do that with all those other Big Pharma OTC and Health Store products, now can you?

    Maggie MacCormack, September 27, 2015 at 4:07 am
  172. I think the American Journal of Medicine needs to re-evaluate cold sores and the term herpes (hsv1 and hsv2). I’ve had cold sores off and on probably since college. Who knows, I might have had the virus all my life and it just showed up in college years. The older I got, the less frequent I had cold sores. I always thought it was herpes also because that term and cold sores have been used interchangeably for so long, it carries the stigma of being an std. So, last year I had my blood tested for std’s and everything came out negative including for hsv1 and hsv2. I asked my doctor if it’s a mistake because I told doctor I’ve had cold sores in the past. My doctor said the next time I get it, to come in and get culture sample taken. Earlier this year, I did blood work again for std’s and again results were negative for stds. No hsv1 or hsv2. What is the likelihood of both blood tests being false negatives for hsv1 and 2? Highly unlikely right? Now it makes me wonder if the cold sores I had were a different strain not detected as herpes. I think there should be more research done and people need to be properly informed that just because you have a cold sore does not mean it’s an std.

    Louis Cyfur, October 19, 2015 at 1:28 pm
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