Fact or Fiction: Cold Sores


4 Min Quiz

Most cold sores clear up in about two days.

If you have a cold sore, it'll probably heal itself within two weeks.


The herpes simplex virus (HSV) causes cold sores.

Cold sores come from the herpes simplex virus, which usually enters the body through a break in the skin around or inside the mouth.


There are three types of herpes simplex virus.

Herpes simplex comes in two versions: HSV-1 (which generally infects the mouth) and HSV-2 (which targets the genitals).


You can get herpes through touching an infected person's mouth or sharing eating utensils with them.

You can get herpes by physically touching an infected person's sores or through saliva -- so don't share utensils with someone who has herpes.


Once you get herpes, you have it forever -- there is no cure.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for the herpes simplex virus. You might never have any symptoms, but the virus will always be in your body.


If a cold sore blisters and breaks open, it will infect other areas of your face.

It's actually a sign of healing when a cold sore blister breaks. A clear liquid will leak out, and the blister will crust over and should heal itself within a couple of weeks.


Stress can trigger a cold sore.

Some people who have the herpes simplex virus find that stress can cause cold sores to pop up. Sun exposure can also do it.


By the time most people become adults, they've been infected with HSV.

Yes, it's true -- most of us have herpes.


Even though almost everyone has HSV, only about 15 percent get cold sores.

Experts say around 20 to 40 percent of infected people get cold sores, so 30 percent is about right.


If you think you have a cold sore, your doctor can run tests to find out for sure if it's herpes.

Doctors generally order herpes tests only for genital sores.


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Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Cold sores -- or fever blisters -- are an embarrassing part of life for many of us. Misconceptions abound about them, though. Can you separate the facts and fictions?

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