What Causes Cold Sores?

cold soresIf you’ve ever had one of those pesky cold sores, you know that they can’t always be avoided.  But it may help to know some factors that cause cold sores.

Cold sores are re-activations of the herpes simplex virus.  This virus stays dormant in your body once you have been infected with it. When these lesions appear on the outside of your lip, this means you are having a flare-up of the infection. People with HIV or Aids may have more complications with cold sores.

Many factors can cause this recurrence to happen.  A fever, menstruation, stress and even sun exposure. Some people confuse canker sores with cold sores.  While cold sores occur on the outside of the mouth, canker sores are ulcers that occur on the inside of the mouth and are not associated with the herpes simplex virus.

Cold sores will usually resolve in 7 to 10 days in healthy people.  If your cold sore is painful, you can take acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin to help.  You may want to try applying a warm or cold compress to the spot.  Do not squeeze or pick at the sore.

What Causes Cold Sores|Oral B