Clued up on cold sores? See how much you know with these true or false facts
True True True True False False False False True False
Do you need help? 1 TRUE Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. But it’s the HSV-1 strain that causes oral cold sores, rather than HSV-2 which affects genitals. However, it is possible for people to get mouth cold sores through oral sex with someone with genital herpes.
2 FALSE Before the sore, or blister, actually appears, there’s usually tingling in the affected area, possibly for a couple of days, before it becomes red and swollen. Face the facts
The virus is contagious as soon as the tingle stage starts.
3 FALSE Once you’ve caught the virus, it’s there for life. However, often it remains ‘inactive’, which means you never develop cold sores and possibly don’t even know you have it. Some people might get one cold sore and never have another.
4 TRUE The virus is known to be highly contagious – spread through close physical contact, such as kissing – and it’s believed that, globally, around 67% of people aged under 50 have caught it.
5 FALSE While for some it may seem random, often, for those who do experience recurring cold sores, there are ‘triggers’. These include being run-down, being otherwise unwell, nutritional deficiencies and sometimes bright sunlight.