Two types of the herpes simplex virus (HSV) can cause cold sores. The majority of cold sores come from type 1 HSV. Type 2 HSV usually triggers sores in the genital area. However, both types can cause the sores in both areas. Although cold sores are always a symptom of HSV type 1 or 2, there are many different routes of cold sore transmission.
Approximately 90% of the adult population carries the herpes simplex virus, which can remain dormant and never cause a cold sore. Alternatively, however, some people experience recurring cold sores. A fever or viral infection can activate a dormant virus, as can changes in hormones or the immune system, stress, fatigue, and sun and wind exposure.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.