Cold Sores, Fever Blisters, Canker Sores and Herpes – The Facts

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Many people don’t know the difference between cold sores, fever blisters, canker sores, and herpes. Because there is much fear in our society around STDs, especially with the rise of HIV, many diseases, especially the sexually transmitted ones, remain cloaked with a shroud of mystery and confusion. Here are some facts if you are wondering about these diseases.

First of all, canker cores only occur inside of the mouth. The exact cause of canker sores is not yet known. Researchers believe they may be associated with either a virus or with bacteria inside of the mouth. They seem to occur when there has been an injury to the inside of the mouth or to the tongue. Canker sores seem to crop up after an injury to the mouth such as a sports injury, eating hot foods that burn, eating spicy foods, chewing tobacco, or some other event that has caused trauma to the inside of the mouth or tongue.

On the other hand canker sores are not related to cold sores, fever blisters or herpes. Cold sores and fever blisters are different names for the same disease. They refer to skin eruptions usually on the face of the victim that are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1. Cold sores or fever blisters as they are sometimes called are referring to the lesions this virus causes on the upper part of the body.

Although it is a little known fact, the same virus, herpes simplex 1, causes the disease herpes simplex, commonly referred to as herpes. Herpes is usually what the outbreaks are called when they appear on the lower half of the body, primarily around the genital region. Although herpes simplex 1 outbreaks can occur on the lower half of the body, the culprit in this case is usually the herpes simplex 2 virus. These outbreaks are referred to as genital herpes. Cold sores and fever blisters are sometimes referred to as oral herpes. Interestingly enough, herpes simplex 2 can also appear above the waist as well as below. Cold sores, also called fever blisters, and also herpes type 1 and type 2 can all appear anywhere on the outside of the body. So now you can see why there is sometimes confusion about whether or not one has a cold sore, fever blister or herpes.

Both viruses, HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be transmitted without any evidence of outbreaks. In fact a person may indeed be a carrier of either of the diseases and not be aware of it because sometimes there are no symptoms. Unfortunately the disease is passed from person to person at an alarming rate because the carrier has no idea of the viral infection.

The outbreaks of both herpes simplex 1 and 2 can mimic other diseases. The only way one can determine for sure if one is infected, and which virus is present, HSV-1 or HSV-2, is through a blood test administered by a health professional. Never be careless with your health. If you suspect you are infected, seek medical help immediately, as you could be dealing with a more serious disease.

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