Kissing is a language of love. Unfortunately, cold sores often leave those with HSV-1 feeling like they might miss out on many of life’s pleasures, like kissing.
However, it’s not the end of the line for those who suffer from cold sore outbreaks. Cold sores can be controlled, and even more, you can learn how to avoid cold sore outbreaks altogether! To learn more about the basics of cold sores and how you can kiss freely once again, read on.
What is a Cold Sore?
Cold sores are small, fluid-filled blisters that develop on the lips and around the mouth. They are often accompanied by a burning or itching sensation. Cold sores are also referred to as fever blisters, fever sores, or simply herpes.
The virus that causes cold sores is called herpes simplex virus type 1, or HSV-1. HSV-1 is highly contagious and spreads from person to person through contact with an infected area. It is common for HSV-1 to be transmitted to the lips through kissing someone with a cold sore, which is why those who suffer from cold sores often feel socially isolated or embarrassed.
What is HSV-1?
Herpes simplex virus type 1, or HSV-1, is a virus that can cause cold sores and genital herpes. Genital herpes is common and can be contracted through sexual contact with an infected partner. HSV-1 is different from HSV-2, which causes genital herpes. HSV-1 is much more common and is often referred to as oral herpes or cold sores.
Herpes simplex virus type 1, or HSV-1, is a common virus. In fact, it is so common that it is thought that one out of every four people in the United States have been infected with HSV-1. While HSV-1 can cause cold sores, it can also cause genital herpes. Transmission of HSV-1 typically occurs during childhood, thanks to a kiss from a family member or close friend.
Where Does HSV-1 Infection Occur?
HSV-1 infection can occur on the lips, face, or genitals. When HSV-1 is contracted on the lips, it is commonly referred to as oral herpes. Oral herpes is characterized by a cluster of small blisters that appear on the lips. In some cases, these blisters will break open and develop into painful ulcers. Oral herpes can also cause cold sores on the face.
Genital herpes is caused by HSV-1 infection in the genital area. Symptoms of genital herpes include painful blisters or sores on or around the genitals. These sores are typically accompanied by mild flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, and body aches. One in five women and one in nine men will experience symptoms of genital herpes during their lifetime.
How Is HSV-1 Spread?
HSV-1 is spread through direct contact with an infected area. Cold sores are most commonly spread through kissing, sharing eating utensils, or touching an infected area and then touching the mouth. HSV-1 can also be spread through sexual contact with a partner who is infected.
If you have HSV-1, it is important to remember that the virus cannot be spread when no symptoms are present. To help reduce the risk of spreading the virus, avoid kissing or sharing eating utensils with people when cold sores are present. If you are having an outbreak, avoid touching the cold sore and then touching your eyes. If you touch your eyes, wash your hands with soap and warm water. Take a warm shower and wash the cold sore area with soap and water. Use a clean towel.
When Is It Safe To Kiss Someone After Having a Cold Sore?
It is safe to kiss someone when no symptoms are present. However, it is safer not to kiss when you have a cold sore. If you have a cold sore, try to avoid kissing while the sore is present. Herpes can still be spread if you have any of the virus on your lips or in your mouth, so it is best to avoid kissing at all until the cold sore has healed. Cold sores usually begin healing within 3-5 days after they first appear. If you have cold sores, it is important to wash your hands with soap and warm water before touching your eyes or face. If you touch your eyes or face, wash your hands with soap and warm water.
Kissing while you have a cold sore can cause the virus to be spread to others. If you have HSV-1 and you kiss someone, you can pass the virus to them. Even if you don't see a cold sore, herpes sores can be present on your lips or facial area. The virus can also be passed to others when no symptoms are present. If you have a cold sore, it is important to avoid kissing or sharing eating utensils with others.
Sharing food and drinks is a common way to spread illness. Cold sores are contagious, so it is important to wash your hands with warm water and soap before eating. If you happen to touch your face or mouth, wash your hands. Herpes is most contagious when symptoms are present, but the virus can be spread even when no symptoms are present.
What Are The Symptoms of an HSV-1 Infection?
The first time a person is infected with the HSV-1 virus, symptoms may include:
- A fever
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
The sores in the mouth may be very painful and cause difficulty eating or drinking. These symptoms usually last 2-4 weeks.
Can You Get HSV-1 and HSV-2 at the Same Time?
Yes. The HSV-1 and HSV-2 viruses are different, but they are so similar that HSV-1 infection can sometimes cause genital herpes. In fact, most genital herpes is caused by HSV-1. But HSV-2 can still cause genital herpes, too. If you have HSV-2 in your genital area, you can still get HSV-1 in your mouth. And if you have HSV-1 in your mouth, you can still get HSV-2 in your genital area.
If you have genital herpes, you can have both types of herpes in your body. And if you have HSV-1 in your mouth, you can have it in your genital area, too. The same is true with HSV-2.
If you have HSV-1, which causes cold sores, you can give it to someone you kiss. And if you have cold sores, you can get genital herpes if you have sex with someone who has HSV-2 (unless you use a condom, which is one of the best ways to protect yourself from STDs).
What Happens if I Get Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 at the Same Time?
How likely is it that you'll get both HSV-1 and HSV-2 at the same time? This is a tough question, because STDs like herpes don't always come with symptoms. If you have symptoms, they're usually mild and go away on their own. So it's hard to know if you have herpes unless you get tested.
How Long Do Genital Sores Last?
Genital sores normally heal faster than oral sores. Sores in the genital area usually heal in 2-3 weeks, but sometimes it can take up to 4 weeks.
5 Ways To Increase Recovery From Cold Sores
1. Vitamin C - Vitamin C is one of the best supplements to help you heal and recover from cold sores. Studies have shown that supplementing with 800 to 1,000mg of Vitamin C per day can help you heal faster from cold sores. Vitamin C is an effective antiviral and will help boost the immune system to prevent cold sores from occurring in the first place.
2. Zinc - Zinc is a potent antioxidant that also boosts immune function. Studies have shown that zinc can also help reduce the duration and severity of cold sore outbreaks. The recommended dose of zinc for cold sores is 30mg for adults and 15mg for children.
3. Lysine - Lysine is an amino acid that boosts the immune system and helps fight cold sores. It works by reducing the amount of arginine in the body. Arginine is an amino acid that helps viruses replicate and spread in the body.
4. Ginger - Ginger is known for its antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Research has shown that ginger oil can reduce the severity and duration of cold sore outbreaks. The recommended dose of ginger is 500mg to 2 grams daily. You can take ginger in capsule form or make a ginger tea by boiling chopped ginger in water.
5. Garlic - Garlic is known for its antiviral and anti-bacterial properties. Studies have shown that garlic can help reduce the severity and length of herpes outbreaks. You can chop up or crush some garlic and mix it with some olive oil to create a garlic paste, make garlic tea, or just eat garlic foods.
This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with a healthcare provider. All statements of opinion represent the writers' judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change. Phoenix and its affiliates provide no express or implied endorsements of third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services.