If you happen to have a cold sore then you might to yourself ‘are cold sores contagious?’ because the last thing you would want to do is infect someone close to you. Well the answer to the question is yes, cold sores are certainly contagious and we’ll tell you why.
Cold sores are far more than just annoying bumps you get on your skin. They are actually Herpes Simplex, part of the Herpes family of viruses.
So it surprises many people when they discover that it is that exact virus that causes cold sores. That is what makes them so contagious and they can be spread by simple contact of the skin with another person.
Another surprising fact is that when you get the virus you might not even realise it’s anything to do with the herpes virus. It can seem like a common cold or flu but in actual fact your body has been infected by a virus that is impossible to remove. That’s right; once a person has become infected they cannot remove it from their system. It remains in their body and can occur in the form of a cold sore at any time in the future.
But the good news is that for the most part there are no lasting damages for having the virus other than getting cold sores. Studies have shown that a large percentage of people are infected at a very early age. The virus then lies dormant in the body and may never even reveal itself. But for some they do get cold sores around their mouth area at times.
The cold sore virus can be passed on very easily. You don’t have to physically touch another person as it can be passed on through objects that have come into contact with your cold sore such as a tooth brush or cup you have drank from. If the virus in on the item and is used by another person then there’s a very high risk of them becoming infected themselves. So you need to bare this in mind if you have a cold sore.
Cold sores are contagious at all stages too, not just when they have appeared but all the way through to when they disappear. So if you have one you should be very careful what you are touching with that area.
Cold sores don’t just affect the mouth either and can be common to infect the finger area. This can be a very painful place to get them and moving the fingers can be painful when a cold sore appears. When a cold sore appears here you should be even more careful as to what you touch to make sure you aren’t spreading the virus to other people.
So this answers the question ‘Are cold sores contagious’. They certainly are and you should be very careful about touch if you do happen to develop a cold sore yourself.