Conditions : Medical Dermatology

Cold Sores

A "cold sore" or "fever blister" generally affects the lips, but it can be passed to the genital area. Usually, it is caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV1) when affecting the lips and by the Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (HSV2) when affecting the genital area. Herpes is transmitted during physical contact and over 20 million adults are affected. It appears as a collection of little yellow-pink blisters on the skin that initially tingle, then scab and finally heal. They can be recurrent and can be brought on by stress, sickness, trauma and sun exposure. Treatments include prescription topical and oral anti-viral medications. Excellent healing occurs if treatment is started early in the outbreak, which puts the virus into remission.