WHAT ARE COLD SORES?
Cold sores are red, fluid-filled blisters that form near the mouth or on other areas of the face. In rare
cases, cold sores may appear on the fingers, nose, or inside the mouth. They’re usually clumped
together in patches. Cold sores may persist for two weeks or longer.
A common virus called herpes simplex causes cold sores. They can spread from person to person
through close contact, such as kissing. The sores are contagious even when they’re not visible.
There’s no cure for cold sores, and they may return without warning. Certain medications can be used to
treat cold sores and prevent them from coming back.
WHAT CAUSES COLD SORES?
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. There are two types of the herpes simplex virus. The
herpes simplex type 1 virus (HSV-1) usually causes cold sores, and the herpes simplex type 2 virus (HSV-
2) usually causes genital herpes
HOW DO YOU TREAT COLD SORES?
Cold sores can also be treated with oral antiviral medications, such
as acyclovir (Zovirax), valacyclovir (Valtrex), and famciclovir (Famvir). These drugs are available by
Your doctor may instruct you to take antiviral medications regularly if you’re experiencing complications
with cold sores or if your outbreaks are frequent.