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What are cold sores?
Cold sores, also called oral herpes or fever blisters, are small blisters around the mouth (including lips, chin, and cheeks) or in the nostrils. Episodes of the cold sores usually last no longer than two weeks. They are contagious.
What causes cold sores?
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. The most common strain of the virus is herpes simplex virus 1. The herpes simplex virus is not curable, but may lay dormant for long periods of time. Hot sun, cold wind, a cold, or a depressed immune system can cause an outbreak of herpes simplex virus symptoms. Oral herpes is transmitted through:
Are cold sores common?
Type 1 herpes virus infects more than half of the people in the United States by the time they reach their 20s.
What are the symptoms of cold sores?
Some children and adults never experience any symptoms with the first attack; others have severe flu-like symptoms and ulcers in and around the mouth. While symptoms may vary child-to-child, they may include:
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”