Once you've been infected with HSV-1, the virus never goes away. It lies dormant (inactive) in a group of nerve cells in the face called the trigeminal ganglion. When the virus is activated or activated, it “wakes up” and travels through the nerves to the lips, where a cold sore develops. Cold sores spread from person to person through close contact, such as kissing.
They are usually caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV) and, less commonly, by the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV). Both viruses can affect the mouth or genitals and can be transmitted through oral sex. Cold sores are contagious even if you don't see them. Oral herpes is most commonly transmitted in people with an active outbreak or sore.
Oral herpes can be contracted through intimate or personal contact (e.g., the triggers for cold sore outbreaks vary from person to person). What causes cold sores to appear in one person may not be the same for another. It is important to determine what are the most likely triggers for cold sores in order to avoid them or, at least, control symptoms more quickly and effectively when they occur. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus and usually go away without treatment within 7 to 10 days.
If left untreated, herpetic keratoconjunctivitis can cause the cornea, the clear layer on the front of the eye, to become infected, eventually leading to blindness. However, from time to time, the virus can be activated by certain triggers, causing an outbreak of cold sores. You usually won't have any symptoms when you're first infected with the herpes simplex virus (the primary infection). Cold sores can occur when a person contracts the herpes simplex virus, which causes small, fluid-filled blisters around the lips and in the mouth.
If you develop the herpes simplex virus at an early age, it can be triggered periodically later in life and cause recurrent episodes of cold sores. However, while the immune system usually makes sure that the virus doesn't replicate and cause blisters, if you're busy fighting another virus or infection, such as a cold or the flu, you may have an outbreak of cold sores. It's not possible to prevent infection with the herpes simplex virus or prevent outbreaks of cold sores, but you can take steps to minimize the spread of the infection. While the specific triggers that cause oral herpes to return are not clear, several factors may play a role.
They are only effective if applied as soon as the first signs of cold sores appear, when the herpes simplex virus is spreading and replicating. The herpes virus is spread through physical contact, such as kissing, sharing a toothbrush, even sharing a drinking glass or through sexual contact. The herpes simplex virus, or cold sore virus, is highly contagious and can easily be transmitted from one person to another through direct and close contact. Since oral herpes can be confused with many other infections, including allergic reactions, the only ways to confirm the diagnosis are through a viral culture (PCR), blood test, or biopsy.
Dry air and colder winter temperatures, as well as wind, can cause lips to dry out, making them more vulnerable to blisters. Once you've had an episode of herpes infection, the virus remains latent in nerve cells in the skin and can appear as another cold sore in the same place as before.