Are Cold Sores Herpes?

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Many people have herpes and many people have cold sores. Both ailments are caused by viruses, and people who are infected often experience outbreaks in the form of a rash, pimples or sores that break open. There are differences in the two ailments, and there are many similarities too. This article will clarify any confusion you might have about herpes and cold sores.

Cold sores are technically called HSV type 1, HSV – 1, oral herpes, or herpes simplex, and outbreaks most commonly occur on the lips, though they can occur on the inside of the mouth, tongue and genitals too. In non medical terms, cold sores are also called fever blisters. Most people would rather call the outbreaks cold sores or fever blisters, rather than oral herpes.

The initial infection with the herpes simplex or cold sore virus, usually occurs in early childhood. A child can get infected by a kiss from an aunt or grandmother for example, and then a child can infect another child with a kiss or slobbering on the other child, or by sharing a cup or spoon. If you think back to situations you were in as a child, or situations you see children in now, you can see how easy it is to spread the infection. For this reason, it is estimated that up to 80% of the adult population has the cold sore virus in them. But for most people, the virus is dormant, and causes them no concern at all.

For others, outbreaks around the lips may be common or even frequent, and such outbreaks may tend to occur when the person is anticipating something which may be stressful, such as a date or a job interview. For some people, chocolate, nuts or sunshine can cause a cold sore to appear.

When the term herpes is used, it usually refers to any infections or outbreaks below the belt. It is technically called HSV type 2, or HSV 2, or herpes simplex 2. The virus is usually transmitted or passed along to someone else through sexual contact. The symptoms can include a tingling in the limbs and sores in the form of small pimples or larger pimples which usually break open, and then scab over and finally go away.

The viruses for HSV 1 and HSV 2, are similar, but not exactly the same, from a scientific standpoint. But from a practical standpoint, the sores and symptoms are similar. The cold sore, or HSV 1 virus, can be transferred to genitals through oral sex. And the herpes, or HSV 2 virus, can be transferred to the lips, also through oral sex.

As the viruses for both are very similar, the treatments for both are also similar. Treatments can include anti viral prescription drugs, or herbal formulas.

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