Cold sores are caused by the HSV-1 virus. This is a very contagious virus, and often the first stage of the cold sore will occur on the lip, where there is a break out of the skin, which can then erupt into a full blown cold sore. It is important to get treatment for cold sore sooner rather than later to ensure that the cold sore stays gone and does not spread. There are also some medicines which may shorten the duration of the cold sore symptoms or even cause them to be more severe.
There are several known triggers for cold sore outbreaks. These triggers can range from weather changes, such as cold, to changes in hormones, such as during menopause or after childbirth. The virus itself however, cannot trigger an outbreak; the virus needs a host to do this. There are three known infection causes of cold sores, and each infection cause manifests differently in the different people.
The first infection cause for cold sore symptoms is the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). These type of sores are generally visible on the lip or around the opening of the mouth, but can manifest anywhere along the surface of the body. While most people have never experienced an outbreak, around 50% of the population will at one time or another be infected with HSV-1. HSV-1 is the virus that causes genital warts. While the genital warts virus itself is not a major cause of cold sore symptoms, it can be a trigger for the appearance of the symptoms, and can be spread by contact.
The second infection cause for cold sore symptoms is mononucleosis (M.R.S.). Like HSV-1, these type of sores will show up on the lip or around the mouth, but will rarely be noticeable. Again, the virus which causes this is not something that people will usually come into contact with, so it is uncommon that your child gets infected. However, if your child does become infected, antiviral medicine will often clear up the problem.
The last common cause of cold sores is an illness known as the runny nose syndrome. Those who are infected with this syndrome often have a runny nose, where the discharge looks like it is coming out of a sore that is on the nose. The runny nose is caused by the fluid getting trapped in the runny nose, and this infection can look similar to a blister. The best way to treat runny nose is to use an antiviral medication and to avoid congested areas of the face.
As you can see, there are many different causes for the appearance of cold sores, including virus, bacteria, and the HSV-1 virus. It is important to realize that if you have any of these symptoms, it does not mean that you have developed the virus. Therefore, the best way to tell is to go to the doctor, and get tested. Once you know for sure if you have the virus, you can treat yourself. There are plenty of over the counter treatments available, and they work quite well, but if you want to be sure, you will need to see a physician.