Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Cold Sores Can Be Contagious

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Cold Sores Can Be Contagious

Article excerpt

Cold Sores Can Be Contagious

At least 75,000,000 people experience painful and unsightly cold sores each year. Cold sores result from exposure to the herpes simplex I virus, which is generally not sexually transmitted. The recurrent outbreaks can be triggered by various factors, such as illness, stress and environmental conditions. And according to experts, once a cold sore appears, you are contagious ... not only to others, but to yourself as well.

"When a blister emerges, you have the potential to spread the herpes virus," says Dr. Michael Siegel of the University of Maryland's Department of Oral Diagnosis. "Whether the blister is moist or crusted over, if you touch or rub the sore and then rub your eyes, your face, or even go to the bathroom, you can transport the virus and might end up with cold sores in those areas. The same holds true of spreading the virus through kissing, which is the most common means of spreading the virus."

The transplanted virus travels up a nerve ending and lies dormant there until a triggering factor causes a cold sore episode. When an outbreak occurs, a blister appears near the point of initial contact with the virus. …

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