Ask anyone who gets cold sores and they'll tell you how unpleasant these little sores and blisters can be. Cold sores, which usually appear on your lips or the skin around your mouth, are also known as oral herpes and are caused by the herpes simplex virus HSV. This virus is also responsible for blisters and sores in the genital area, known as genital herpes. Unfortunately, the short answer is yes, according to sexual health physician Terri Foran.
Approximately 50 percent of the adult population in the United States has oral herpes, typically caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 HSV Most people contract oral herpes when they are children by receiving a kiss from a friend or relative. For some, symptoms may appear between the upper lip, on or inside the nose, or on the chin or cheek. In these instances, herpes is referred to as oral-facial herpes. You have most likely seen someone experiencing an oral herpes outbreak before. Oral herpes is transmitted through direct contact between the contagious area and broken skin a cut or break and mucous membrane tissue such as the mouth or genitals.
Skip navigation! Story from Sex. Cory Stieg. Pesky little cold sores love to sprout up at the most inconvenient times, huh?
Back to Health A to Z. Cold sores are common and usually clear up on their own within 10 days. But there are things you can do to help ease the pain. Cold sores should start to heal within 10 days, but are contagious and may be irritating or painful while they heal.