Causes Of Cold Sores

Causes Of Cold Sores
What are the Causes of Cold Sores?

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The causes of cold sores, and why knowing is half the battle.

What are the causes of cold sores? Painful, tingling, blistering cold sores are caused by a virus. The herpes simplex type 1 (HSV 1) virus is responsible for cold sore outbreaks on the lips and face. Research indicates that about 80% of Americans have been exposed to the HSV 1 virus at some point in their lives.

The initial infection is usually obtained before the age of seven so you might not actually remember being sick. Many people have a sub-clinical or very mild illness so you might not remember your first infection. Once the infection is inside your body it stays there until something triggers and outbreak. This usually occurs when your immune system is functioning poorly. Stress and a poor diet or illness are the most common causes of cold sores.

There is no cure for the causes of cold sores. The infection is passed from person to person by kissing, contact with infected eating and drinking utensils and lipstick and wash cloths. Herpes can also be spread during oral sex. The virus that causes cold sores is not the same one that causes genital herpes but both infections can be spread via oral sex and kissing.

Can the virus be transferred to another area of the body? Yes, cold sores can be spread from your face and lips to your genitals by touching. It is important to make sure that you practice proper hand washing after you touch your face, for example when applying a cold sore medication. The eyes and fingers can also become infected with the herpes virus. Since the causes of cold sores are simple it is possible to prevent it's spread with proper attention to hygiene.

Cold sores are most contagious when the blisters burst and release fluid. This serum is teeming with herpes virus particles and transferring this fluid during kissing or oral sex is one of the most common causes of cold sores. You should refrain from both when you have an attack and this includes the tingle phase and while the sores are healing.

A weak immune system is one of the causes of cold sores and their symptoms. To avoid outbreaks take care of your general health by eating correctly, getting enough fresh air, exercise and avoiding stress. Also take care to avoid exposure to strong sunlight as this can trigger an attack. Certain medications like those used to treat asthma can worsen the condition.

So be sure to check out our pages about How To Get Rid Of Cold Sores, Cold Sore Treatment, Cold Sore Remedies, Cold Sore Relief, and Cold Sore Symptoms elsewhere on this site.



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