Do Most People Get Cold Sores

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Do Most People Get Cold Sores ?

While cold sores generally appear around the lips, it is possible to get them on any part of the body. As per the American Social Health Association, as many as ninety percent people in the US end up getting cold sores by the time they hit fifty years of age. It has been seen that most people actually end up getting infected by the herpes simplex during their childhood on coming in contact with an infected adult. However, it must be pointed out that not all people who get oral herpes end up getting cold sores. (See Reference 1)

The herpes virus causing cold sores is contagious and when a person has the blisters, he or she has the ability to infect others around them. A person with cold sores often touches the blisters and this causes transference of the virus onto the person's hand. When the person touches someone else and the other person has a cut on the skin, the virus enters and infects the other person. The virus is also spread by sharing drinks, utensils, lipsticks and lip balms. (See Reference 1) Generally, a person is most contagious when he or she has the blisters. However, the virus can become active without any symptoms and during that time too a person can infect others. (See Reference 1)

Once the virus enters the body, it becomes dormant. At some stage, the virus reactivates and travels along the nerves to the surface of the skin. When this happens, it causes the formation of blisters. The blisters remain until the virus once again becomes dormant. (See Reference 1) Unfortunately, medical science has not been able to ascertain as to why the virus suddenly gets activated. But, doctors and researchers know that the reactivation occurs due to certain triggers like changes in the hormones, infection, eating certain kinds of foods, taking certain types of medication, getting exposed to sun or even stress. (See Reference 1) Many people, who get oral herpes, do not end up with cold sores, while in others, after the first outbreak, no subsequent outbreaks occur. (See Reference 1)

Unfortunately, there is no cure for cold sores. Just the duration of the outbreak and the severity can be controlled with the help of anti-viral medications. Usually, ordinary cold sores do not require treatment and tend to fade away after a few days (10 to 14 days) on their own. The pain and discomfort can be easily treated with the help of cold compress or using over the counter topical creams or painkillers. (See Reference 1)

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