How are Cold Sores Transmitted or Spread to Other People?

Millions of people will get a cold sore at least once in their lifetime.  But why?  Even though you know not to kiss anyone with one, many people still get them.  You may actually be born with the Herpes Simplex Virus, also known as HSV-1.  It lives in a cluster of nerves by the ear.  There are certain things that trigger them, and make them appear, but how are cold sores transmitted from one person to another?

Not everyone knows this, but even babies can get cold sores.  If they get sick and get a high fever, it may trigger a sore.  This is why they are sometimes also called fever blisters.  When it comes to infants and small children, many adults like to hold and kiss them.  If an adult doesn’t realize that they have a cold sore starting to form, they can transmit it to the child or visa versa.

There are a few ways that they can spread, and it’s not just by direct contact.  Unfortunately, many people don’t realize and they unintentionally spread it to others.

In this article, we will be talking about how cold sores are transmitted, and some of these ways may well surprise you.  We will also talk about treatments for cold sores that work.

Are Cold Sores Contagious before They Appear?

Fever blisters are a virus.  As with any other viruses, they can spread quickly.  As long as you take the proper precautions, though, the chances of your giving it to someone else will be very slim.

How are Cold Sores Transmitted

They are the most contagious when they form a blister, as this is when there is fluid built up and can ooze.  However, if you were to kiss someone even at the very first sign of one, which would be a small hard red spot on the lip, or a tingling sensation, then they can also get it.  These can also be mistaken for pimples, in the very early stages.

Unfortunately, there are no medical cures as of yet.  There are, however, over the counter treatments that can help the pain and shorten the duration of them, but there is nothing that can stop them altogether.

Can You Spread Cold Sores?

The key to not spreading the virus to someone else is understanding how it’s spread.  The is the obvious way, but there are other ways that are not as well known, that are just as important.  Especially if you have more than one person living with you.

  • The first, and the one most people know of, is by kissing someone, or if someone were to touch it.
  • The eating utensils and cups that you use can give it to someone else, if you share your food or drink.
  • Also, razors should not be shared.  This is especially important when you have a cold sore under your nose, on your cheek, or on your chin.  Fever blisters can appear in different places around the mouth.
  • The towels and washcloths that you use should be kept separate from others, as the virus can easily get on them.  Especially in the blister stage, the liquid from the blister often oozes out, and can get on the towel and spread to anyone who uses it.
  • When you have one, especially when it’s in the blistering stage, you should wash your hands frequently.  The body’s natural reaction when something is wrong is to touch it.  These blisters also get very itchy, and you may find yourself scratching it without even realizing it.
  • When you use something to treat the sore, be sure that no one else touches it. Also, wash your hands with an anti-bacterial soap.
  • You should never try to cover a sore with make-up, but quite a few people do.  If you do, you should throw away what you have used, because the virus has gotten on it.

Are Cold Sores Contagious to Babies?

Someone that has a fever blister may easily give it to babies, even if they aren’t aware that they have one yet.  Many people love to hold and kiss babies, but babies also love to put their hands on people’s faces.

As soon as they touch the area where the sore is, they will have the virus on their hands.  And they are always putting their hands in their mouths, they have the potential to catch it.  Babies, as well as people with weakened immune systems, are prone to picking up viruses fairly easily.

Are Cold Sores Contagious When Scabbed?

The scabbing stage of a cold sore is the last stage of its cycle.  This is a very itchy stage, and even when you try not to scratch at it, you probably will.  These sores are still contagious at this point, because the scab is the dried out blister, which was filled with pus.

The sore will not be as contagious as when it was blistering, but be cautious.


Treating Cold Sores before They Become Blisters

There are some ways that you can stop a cold sore from reaching the oozing blister point.  There are treatments available over the counter that work very well at stopping the virus from growing any further.

One of these treatments is Abreva.  You have probably already heard of this one.  It is FDA approved and stops the virus in its tracks.  Instead of taking almost two weeks to run its course, it will only take 4 or 5 days.  You do have to use this treatment as soon as you feel the tingling, though, or it will take longer for the sore to heal.

You can read more about Abreva, including the ingredients and how it works so fast, in our full review.  Simply click on the link above to be taken to our review page.

Another good product that you can use is Herp-B-Gone.  If you get cold sores often, this can be used on a daily basis as a chapstick to keep the virus from even being able to penetrate your lips.

Herp-B-Gone is an all-natural product.  It kills the virus on contact, and will prevent any future outbreaks when used regularly.  This is very good to use if you are prone to getting cold sores, and get them frequently throughout the year.

We have written a comprehensive review, and you can read it by clicking on the product link above.

Although there are many ways that cold sores can be transmitted, there are also many ways to avoid it.  If you follow the tips above, the likelihood of someone else getting them will be slim to none.