How Do I Know If I Have Cold Sores?
Individuals infected with HSV-1 will experience an initial outbreak of the virus, causing painful blisters, and open sores in or around the mouth. Fever, body aches, and swollen glands may also be experienced during the initial outbreak. The sores usually take about 2-4 weeks to heal. Before the appearance of sores individuals may experience a tingling, burning, or itching sensation around the mouth. After the initial infection the sores can periodically recur throughout a person’s life. The frequency of recurrence varies from person to person, but can be brought on by stress, illness, sun exposure, or certain procedures, like filler injections or dental work. HSV-1 can be diagnosed from symptoms alone, or a sample can be taken from an open sore, and tested. A blood test can be used to look for herpes antibodies, which indicate that a person has been infected, but is positive whether the infection was years ago or current.