Cold sores Directory
Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are a painful infection usually caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1, which can be transmitted through kissing or sharing utensils, towels, or razors with somebody who is infected. The sores may show up anywhere on the body, but typically appear on the gums, the outside of the mouth and lips, the nose, cheeks, or fingers. The sores usually last seven to 10 days and are contagious. There is no cure for cold sores, but the pain can be alleviated by avoiding spicy or acidic foods, applying ice, and using over-the-counter numbing remedies. Antiviral drugs may also be used to treat cold sores. Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage about how cold sores are contracted, how they are diagnosed, how they are treated, and much more.
Cold Sore Treatments
Learn more from WebMD about the treatment of cold sores and how to minimize recurrences.
Stomatitis: Types, Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
WebMD discusses stomatitis, a condition caused by canker sores, cold sores and other irritations in the mouth.
Herpes Simplex (HSV-1 & HSV-2) Virus
WebMD explains the two types of herpes simplex virus, including causes, symptoms, and treatment.
Oral Herpes Basics
WebMD provides a comprehensive look at oral herpes, or cold sores, which are caused by the herpes simplex virus.
8 Winter Tips for Healthy Living
A better diet, a little more exercise -- healthy living is easy if you take it one tip at a time.
Minor Athlete Infections and Other Annoyances: How to Prevent and Treat Them
Herpes, athlete’s foot, jock itch, ringworm, impetigo, swimmer’s hair, and more — find out how to prevent and treat minor athlete infections.
Video: How to Prevent Cold Sores
Ten simple ways to prevent a cold sore from forming.
Video: Avoid Spreading Contagious Cold Sores
Five simple things you can do to stop the spread of catching fever blisters.
Video: Cold Sores and How to Treat Them
Treat your unsightly, painful cold sore with either pills or ointments.
Video: Hide a Cold Sore
A cold sore can make you feel like everyone is staring at that red blister on your lip. Here are 3 tricks that can help hide them.
Slideshows & Images
Slideshow: Treating and Preventing Cold Sores
Besides being itchy and painful, cold sores make you feel self-conscious. This slideshow illustrates how to prevent and treat cold sores caused by the herpes virus.
17 Oral Health & Mouth Problems
Sores, painful gums, bad breath -- what’s going on in your mouth? Found out with our slideshow of the most common mouth problems.
Picture of Cold Sores (Fever Blisters)
Cold sores, sometimes called fever blisters, are groups of small blisters on the lip and around the mouth. The skin around the blisters is often red, swollen, and sore.
Contagious Disease Quiz: Can You Catch It?
Test your knowledge of contagious diseases with this quiz.
Genital Herpes Quiz: Do You Know the Facts?
Take this quiz and find out if you know the facts about genital herpes.
Quiz: Kiss and Tell: What Do You Know About Locking Lips?
Love to lock lips? Test your knowledge on kisses.