Why do I get them?
Why do I get cold sores?
Cold sores are spread by direct contact with the sores or the saliva of a person with a cold sore. This usually happens if you're kissed by or share a drink with someone who has a cold sore, or who may not yet know that they have a cold sore.
Roughly 70% - 80% of people carry the virus but only about a third ever get a cold sore.*
Most people are infected as children but the virus lies dormant until emotional or environmental stress triggers an attack.
Some people only get a cold sore once. Others find they have several during the year.
There's no cure! Once you've got the virus, unfortunately, you've got it for life.
*Source: 1. Smith JS, Robinson NJ J Infect Dis 2002; 186 (suppl 1): S3-28
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