Herpes Home > Cold Sore -- Information

Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are an extremely common condition caused by the herpes simplex virus. Transmission often occurs either through direct contact with the cold sore or indirect contact through sharing items such as towels, toothbrushes, razors, drinks, or utensils.
Symptoms do not always appear right away with a cold sore. In fact, up to 85 percent of people will not have symptoms with the first infection. However, the body is not able to completely get rid of the herpes virus. Therefore, at some point in the future, the virus can become active again.
(Click Cold Sores for more information on this topic, including how they differ from canker sores, possible symptoms, treatment options, and more.)
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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