Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms trigger factors Evaluation Treatment eye infection Home Care pain in adults pain in children warning signs Prevention Outlook Complications Underlying Cause Transmission

Lip Cold Sore Transmission

Facts about cold sores:

  • The virus that causes cold sores is spread from person to person by direct contact with the virus.
  • Transmission may occur from kissing or sharing towels or other items with a person who is infected.
  • People who have a cold sore can transmit the infection to others until the sore is completely scabbed over.
  • The first time you become infected with the herpes virus you may have no symptoms at all.
  • Some people who become infected will develop a painful sore inside their mouth or on their lips. This usually occurs within 2 weeks of initial infection.
  • Once a person is infected with the herpes virus, he or she will carry it for life.

Last Updated: Dec 8, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Lip Cold Sore References
  1. Arduino PG, Porter SR. Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 infection: overview on relevant clinico-pathological features. J Oral Pathol Med. 2008 Feb;37(2):107-21. [18197856]
  2. Elish D, Singh F, Weinberg JM. Therapeutic options for herpes labialis, I: Oral agents. Cutis. 2004 Jul;74(1):31-4. [15293697]
  3. Elish D, Singh F, Weinberg JM. Therapeutic options for herpes labialis, II: Topical agents. Cutis. 2004 Jul;74(1):35-40. [1529369]
  4. Waggoner-Fountain LA, Grossman LB. Herpes simplex virus. Pediatr Rev. 2004 Mar;25(3):86-93. [14993516]
  5. Worrall G. Herpes labialis. Clin Evid. 2004 Dec;(12):2312-20. [15865790]
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