Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. Once this virus is in you, it can cause outbreaks of cold sores. Cold sore outbreaks are often triggered by exposure to hot sun, cold wind, a cold or other illness, a weak immune system, changing hormone levels, or even stress.
How can you prevent cold sores?
Sep 12, 2019
Having a cold sore does not necessarily mean you have an STD. Most cold sores are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), which usually affects the lips and typically is not transmitted by sexual contact. Though less common, cold sores may be caused by another type of herpes simplex virus called HSV-2.
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have found that people affected by cold sores have a mutation in a gene, which means their immune system is not able to prevent them from developing. Cold sores are caused by a strain of the herpes simplex virus - herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1).
Some people have frequently recurring cold sores around two or three times a year, while others have one cold sore and never have another. Some people never get cold sores at all because the virus never becomes active.
Although HSV-1 isn't technically an STD, you can potentially catch the virus through sex. If you receive oral sex from a person with HSV-1, there's a risk that the virus could make its way into your body through their saliva. When you acquire HSV-1 through oral sex, it leads to genital herpes rather than cold sores.
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). HSV-1 is very contagious. You can spread the virus even when you don't have any symptoms of a cold sore, though you're usually most contagious when you have them.