Herpes simplex infections are common and when they appear around the mouth and lips, people often refer to them as "cold sores" and "fever blisters." Canker sores are different than cold sores. Air droplets can spread the virus, as can direct contact with the fluid from the blisters. Cold sore treatment include over-the-counter medication, as well as prescription medications. Read more: Cold Sores (Nongenital Herpes Simplex Infections) Article
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
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Learn to spot and treat skin conditions commonly found in adults such as acne, eczema, shingles, psoriasis, rosacea, hives, cold...
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Learn about some of the most common problems in your mouth such as sores, oral cancer, TMJ, painful gums, bad breath and more....
Cold Sores Causes, Remedies, & Diagnosis
How to get rid of cold sores? First learn about the herpes virus and how it causes cold sores. When are cold sores contagious?...
Viral Infection Types, Treatment, and Prevention
Watch this slideshow on Viral Infections and learn about types, treatment, and prevention of illnesses caused by viruses....
Is It Contagious? What Diseases Are Contagious?
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Skin Quiz: Acne, Dry Skin, Dandruff & More
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Picture of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1
A herpes virus that causes cold sores and fever blisters in and around the mouth. See a picture of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1...
Picture of Herpes Blister (Cold Sore)
Cold sores (fever blisters) are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), passed on through contact with infected skin or body...
Picture of Cold Sores Treatment
You can't cure HSV or a cold sore, but you can alleviate the pain it causes by avoiding spicy or acidic foods, applying ice, and...
Picture of Cold Sore and Canker Sore
Cold sores and canker sores aren't the same. See a picture of Cold Sore and Canker Sore and learn more about the health topic....
Picture of Cold Sore Between Nose and Mouth
Can a cold sore appear somewhere other than your lip? They are not as common, but cold sores can appear anywhere on the face,...
Picture of Varicella-Zoster Virus Infection (Face)
Multiple, very pruritic, erythematous papules, vesicles (“dewdrops on a rose petal”), and crusted papules on erythematous,...
Picture of Varicella (Chickenpox) Virus
A highly infectious viral disease, known familiarly as chickenpox. See a picture of the Varicella (Chicken Pox) Virus and learn...
Picture of Varicella Chicken Pox
Varicella Chickenpox is caused by a virus of the herpes group. The disease is highly contagious and is spread by droplet or...
Picture of Herpetic Whitlow
Painful grouped red-blue vesicles on the middle finger of a child. See a picture of Herpetic Whitlow and learn more about the...
Picture of Eczema Herpeticum
Eczema herpeticum. See a picture of Eczema Herpeticum and learn more about the health topic....
Picture of Varicella-Zoster Virus Infection on Chest Wall
Typical grouped vesicles and pustules with erythema and edema of three contiguous thoracic dermatomes on the posterior chest...
Picture of Varicella-Zoster Virus Infection Close-Up
Grouped and confluent vesicles surrounding erythema on the chest wall. See a Varicella-Zoster Virus Infection: Close-Up and learn...
Picture of Cold Sores (Fever Blisters)
Cold sores, sometimes called fever blisters, are groups of small blisters on the lip and around the mouth. See a picture of Cold...
Your Face: A Window Into Your Health
What medical problems appear on your face? Look into the mirror and find out. Jaundice, glaucoma, skin cancer, and cracked lips...
Related Disease Conditions
Canker Sores (Causes, Home Remedies, Treatment, and Prevention)
Canker sores are a common complaint, and are small ulcers on the inside of the mouth. Canker sores aren't contagious (as opposed...
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Lymph nodes help the body's immune system fight infections. Causes of swollen lymph nodes (glands) may include infection (viral,...
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Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Symptoms of genital herpes...
Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37 C), in practice, a person is usually not...
Itch (Itching or Pruritus)
Itching can be a common problem. Itches can be localized or generalized. There are many causes of itching to include: infection...
There are a variety of diseases and conditions that can cause tongue problems, discoloration, and soreness. Though most tongue...
Pimple vs. Cold Sore
Pimples are areas of skin inflammation with pus in the center. Cold sores are fluid-filled blisters. Pimples are caused by...
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Encephalitis is a brain inflammation that causes sudden fever, vomiting, headache, light sensitivity, stiff neck and back,...
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Herpes Viral Infections of the Eye
Herpes of the eye occurs due to herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1). Symptoms of herpes of the eye include pain in and around the eye,...
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Are Cold Sores (Fever Blisters) Contagious?
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Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
- acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tylenol Arthritis Pain, Tylenol Ext, Little Fevers Children's Fever/Pain)
- ibuprofen (Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever, and others)
- Valtrex (valacyclovir)
- aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid, Bayer, Ecotrin, and others)
- acyclovir cream - topical, Zovirax
- valacyclovir - oral, Valtrex
- acyclovir, Zovirax
- Over-the-Counter Products
- famciclovir, Famvir
- docosanol - topical, Abreva
- lidocaine - topical, Lidamantle, Xylocaine
- penciclovir cream - topical, Denavir
- benzocaine spray - mucous membrane, HurriCaine
- pramoxine (Itch-X, PrameGel, Orax, Sarna Sensitive, and Others)
Prevention & Wellness
- Mother Advocates for Newborn Safety After a Kiss Leads to Her Baby's Death
- Health Tip: Coping With Cold Sores
- Psoriasis, Cold Sores Most Stigmatized Skin Disorders: Survey
- Many Americans Under 50 Living With Cold Sore Virus
- Genital Herpes Vaccine Shows Promise in Mouse Study
- Health Tip: What Causes a Cold Sore?
- Studies Link Cold Sore Virus to Alzheimer's Risk
- Cold Sore Virus Active Without Symptoms, Study Finds
- Frequent Cold Sores Tied to Genetic Mutation in Study
- Immune Cell Discovery May One Day Lead to Herpes Vaccine: Study
- Could Herpes Virus Affect Memory in Older Adults?
- Millions of Americans Have an STD: Report
- Ritual in Some Jewish Circumcisions Raises Risk of Herpes Infection: Report
- Gene May Be Linked to Frequent Cold Sores
- New Hope Against the Cold Sore Virus