Cold Sores (Herpes Simplex)

Cold sores are blistering sores typically close to the mouth. They begin with a tingling sensation and progress to clusters of painful blisters and may heal with scarring. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus and can be transmitted by direct contact. Even with treatment the virus is never cleared from the body completely. Treatment with antiviral medications is aimed at preventing or minimizing outbreaks.