Cold Sores 3 min read

Dispelling Common Myths About Cold Sores

Dispelling Common Myths About Cold Sores Dispelling Common Myths About Cold Sores Dispelling Common Myths About Cold Sores

Oh, cold sores. Despite their annoyance, they’re part and parcel of life. Or, at least for an estimated 67% of the global population. For something so common though, they are plagued with misconceptions – from how they originate and their level of contagiousness, to treatment options and more.

But first, what even is a cold sore?

A cold sore, also known as a “fever blister” or medically called Herpes Labialis, is a fluid-filled blister that usually starts with an itching, tingling or burning sensation, most commonly on the lips. They are contagious from the moment you feel the burning sensation to the moment they have healed fully – and especially when the blister bursts – and are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1).

What not to do if you have a cold sore

If you have a cold sore, there are a couple of things you need to avoid doing that involve both what you do to yourself and what you do to others. Most importantly, do not kiss a baby if you have a cold sore as this could put them at risk of developing neonatal herpes, which can be very dangerous for a newborn.

Other things to avoid are kissing anyone, performing oral sex, sharing water bottles, toothbrushes, vapes – basically anything that touches your mouth. You should avoid touching the cold sore, except to apply cream – and remember to wash your hands both before and after to limit contamination. Salty and acidic foods can also aggravate your cold sore, so it’s best to stick to cool, soft foods.

Myth-busting time!

There are quite a few common misconceptions about cold sores. Read on to learn the facts about cold sores so you can tackle them with confidence.


Without any treatment, cold sores typically clear up on their own in about 10 days. But there are some ways to make that time pass by a little more comfortably.

No two cold sores are the same

Ultimately, the herpes simplex virus affects people of all ages in different ways. But now that you’ve got the low-down on some of the common myths about cold sores, hopefully, you’ll feel equipped to deal with your next outbreak with confidence.