Difference Between Herpes and Cold Sores
Herpes vs Cold Sores
It may be considered as your most miserable day once you are diagnosed with an STD. You can either blame yourself for doing it or your partner for doing it with different people. Just in case, get prepared for the course of treatment and abstinence from sex.
Herpes and cold sores are words that are associated with the sexually transmitted disease called herpes. Let us tackle and define both words.
Herpes can be caused by HSV-1 or HSV-2. HSV-1 stands for herpes simplex virus 1 while HSV-2 is herpes simplex virus 2. A cold sore’s causative agent is HSV-1, and this causes the blisters on the mouth. HSV-2, on the other hand, causes genital herpes. So generally, herpes has two main types; the oral herpes caused by HSV-1, and genital herpes caused by HSV-2.
Herpes can manifest different signs and symptoms depending if it’s oral herpes or genital herpes. If it’s oral herpes, then it can manifest as cold sores. Cold sores are painful sores on the mouth in form of blisters. These reddish, bumpy spots can also occur on the nose and lips and may last for a few days. If it’s genital herpes, then there would be painful lesions in the genital area.
The HSV-1 in cold sores can be transmitted via a droplet if there is a break in the oral mucosa’s superficial layer. Genital herpes or HSV-2 can be transmitted via direct skin-to-skin contact. So before engaging in kissing and sex, make sure to assess that person for any signs of herpes infection.
Oral herpes manifesting cold sores are easier to diagnose than genital herpes. Cold sores are evident upon assessment of the face. Genital herpes, on the other hand, is asymptomatic. It is more difficult to diagnose as well because genital herpes resemble other skin problems such as fungal infections and atopic dermatitis.
The herpes virus cannot be totally eliminated in the system. It can only be suppressed. Thus, there will be a chance that the manifestations of cold sores may occur again. Drugs such as Acyclovir and other anti-viral drugs can suppress the virus but not totally eliminate it from the system. Topical creams with anti-viral ingredients help in healing genital herpes.
People diagnosed with herpes are advised to undergo treatment and abstain temporarily from having sex as they can infect vulnerable people. Condoms are advised to be worn at all times as it reduces transmission by 50 per cent.
1. A cold sore is a manifestation of herpes caused by a virus called HSV-1
while herpes is a general term which is either caused by HSV-1 and
2. Cold sores have evident manifestations for oral herpes unlike the genital
herpes type which is asymptomatic.
3. Cold sores can be transmitted via a droplet upon kissing if there is a break
in the surface of the mouth while genital herpes can be transmitted via
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