Woman with Cold Sore

Shrug Them Off, or Seek Help?

Cold sores, aka fever blisters, are known to medical professionals as outbreaks of the herpes simplex virus. Most of us have experienced them at one time or another, on the lips or inside the mouth. They can be spread by kissing or by sharing spoons, cups, or razors with an infected person. Once you get it, the virus remains for the rest of your life. So if you have it, be careful not to spread it.

Cold sores usually start to heal on their own within a few days, but they can be treated with skin creams or sometimes pills.

Cold sores are unsightly but only a slight risk to your health. See your doctor if:

  • Your immune system is compromised.
  • Your cold sores don’t heal within two weeks.
  • Your symptoms are severe or you get cold sores often.
  • You experience irritation in your eyes or nose.