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Risk Factors and Causes of Cold Sores

Risk Factors

Many people get cold sores because it is highly contagious. People are prone to this when they are little as kids or when kissed by an infected person.

Children can also get infected by sharing the same spoon or fork with an infected person. Even sharing a towel with an infected person can make children contract this virus.

Adults can also contact this virus; that is why people who have cold sores should avoid intimate contact with people or kissing people until the sores have formed scabs.

Causes of Cold sores

The herpes simplex virus (HSV) is responsible for cold sores; once you have this virus, it remains in your system for life. After the sores have healed, the virus travels to your nerves and stay there until it is reactivated.

Some people never get a cold sore after infection while others do, but afterwards, develop antibodies to the virus, and they never get cold sores again. And it is also possible to get cold sores throughout life.

Outbreaks are less frequent after 35 years of age, factors that are likely to reactivate the virus are:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Stress
  • Certain foods
  • Fatigue
  • Strong sunlight
  • Dental work
  • Laser treatment or cosmetic surgery
  • Colds, flu, fever, and other related illnesses
  • Injury to the region where you have sores, e.g. cuts

Triggers vary from person to person.

Diagnosis of Cold Sores

Our Dermatologist  London will diagnose cold sores by looking at it; a swab will be taken from the cold sore and examined to search for the presence of the herpes simplex virus. Contact us to get your cold sore diagnosed and treated.