Cold Sores and Herpes
A cold sore is a painful, blistering of the moist areas surrounding the mouth and nose area, caused by the herpes virus.
Herpes is the name given to a chronic, lifelong infection by the herpes virus, Herpes simplex. Although there are five different types of herpes virus, it is usually when infection is caused by the Herpes simplex-1 (HSV-1) strain of the herpes virus that the term "cold sore" is used.
Other strains of the herpes virus are responsible for Chicken pox (herpesvirus: varicella zoster virus, VZV) and shingles (reactivation of dormant varicella zoster virus, VZV).
Cold sores are usually caused by the strain of herpes virus given the name, Herpes simplex-1 (HSV-1).
Although considered sexually transmitted because it is easily transmitted by sexual intercourse, the main mode of transmission for Herpes simplex-1 (HSV-1) is by kissing, particularly when someone has a cold sore on the mouth or lips which is actively shedding the highly infectious cells from a cold sore blister.
Unfortunately, HSV-1 is also becoming more prevalent as a sexually transmitted infection, principally through oral sex which brings the infectious shedding of the lesion of the cold sore into direct contact with the moist membranes of the lips, mouth, penis, vagina, urethra, cervix or anus.
If you have a cold sore, or cold sores, it is not only possible to infect your partner with the HSV-1 form of genital herpes, but also to re-infect yourself by having oral sex followed by penetrative intercourse.
Additionally, it is possible to infect other areas of your body by touching an active cold sore lesion and then either creating a way for the virus to infect by scratching the skin surface, or by touching a susceptible area such as the eye, mouth, vagina or penis.
Cold Sore Treatment and Remedy
There are different treatment options available for cold sores, many of which can be used as a cold sore remedy. Although they do not cure cold sores, there are a growing number of preparations which can be used as a cold sore home remedy, many of which have antiviral properties that can greatly shorten the duration of a cold sore attack.
Treatment for herpes, which helps minimize the duration and severity of an outbreak and reduces the possibility of the virus multiplying and infecting other areas of the body, typically involves antiviral agents such as acyclovir (Zovirax ®), famiciclovir (Famvir ®) and valacyclovir (Valtrex ®).