Cold Sores Can Be Contagious

If you have ever had a cold sore you know that they are painful and unsightly.  No one wants to spread their cold sore to someone else.  If you are unlucky enough to have a cold sore you may be wondering if the cold sore is contagious.  The answer to that questions is yes, it may be.

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus.  This virus may be contracted early in life and will remain in the body for a lifetime.  There is no known cure.  Usually people come in contact with the virus when they are still children.

The virus will remain dormant most of the time.  However, it is possible, but unlikely, to pass the virus on to others.

Usually the cold sore starts with a small tingling sensation that eventually becomes a bump and the bump then evolves into a lesion.  When you have an active lesion you are at most risk of infecting someone else.  An active lesion is when your lesion is weeping or the lesion is filled with pus.  Not only can you spread the cold sore to others, you can infect other parts of your body too.  For example, you can rub your lip where the cold sore is located and then rub your eyes.

With a few simple precautions you can prevent spreading the virus to others and you can increase your chances of not becoming infected with the virus yourself.

First, you should avoid kissing someone who has an actual cold sore.  Even if the cold sore is not currently active it is still possible to become infected with the virus.

Even if you have no active outbreak from your cold sore it is still possible to infect others or spread the infection to other parts of your own body.  As a preventative measure, it is extremely important that you wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.

One very common way for the virus to be transferred is to share personal care items such as razors and toothbrushes.  You want to avoid this practice.  You also do not want to share drinking glasses with someone who is experiencing an active outbreak.  You also do not want to take a bite of their food or share a bite of your food with them.

Everyone has his own unique susceptibility to infections.  Some people don’t seem to get sick as easily or as often as others.  Keep your body as healthy as possible and this will increase your ability to fight off any infections.  Stay hydrated, get lots of sleep, avoid nicotine, alcohol and too much caffeine.  If you take care of your body, your body will take care of you.

Cold sores are an unpleasant part of life. If you can keep your immune system strong you can decrease the chances you will have an outbreak.  Eating healthy and taking care of yourself can help increase your ability to avoid an outbreak.  However, if you do experience an outbreak of the cold sore take some simple precautions so you don’t spread the infection to other parts of your body to the other people.