March 26th, 2009
12:57 PM ET

Is a cold sore always permanent?

As a new feature of CNNhealth.com, our team of expert doctors will answer readers’ questions. Here’s a question for Dr. Gupta.

Asked by Kaley, Tucson, Arizona

“Dr. Gupta,

My roommate has been getting cold sores around her mouth since she was a little girl. I have never had one until very recently. Is it true that once you get a cold sores, you’ll get them for the rest of your life? What can I do to avoid getting another one? Thanks.”


Hi Kaley. Thanks for writing in. Cold sores – also known as fever blisters – are highly contagious. The virus can live on towels, razors, cooking utensils, cups among other everyday household places. So you can imagine how easy it is to pass to a roommate, as in your situation, or to a family member.

Fever blisters are the result of virus known as herpes simplex virus one (HSV-1). While the thought of the virus infecting your body may seem really serious, its actually relatively harmless and quite common. Eight in 10 Americans are HSV-1 carriers, according to the National Institutes of Health.

There is no currently no cure for cold sores. Once you have the virus, you have it for life. HSV-1 moves around your body and “sleeps” in your nerves cells until something triggers it to “wake up.” The virus will then move to the surface. Some people will go years without having an infection, while other people will experience them frequently.

You can limit your overall risk by identifying what triggers your cold sores. The most common reasons are exposure to the sun, stress, a low immune system or toothache. Even certain foods can be the trigger.

Some believe foods such as olive oil, citrus fruits, sea salt, garlic, asparagus as well as  soft drinks and chocolate can trigger a cold sore.   If your cold sore already is already formed, some of these foods may aggravate the infection. The best thing to do is eat a balance of these foods. Eating or drinking any of these items from time to time is not problematic, just be mindful of the triggers and eat a balanced diet.

And it’s worth noting that your body will give you warning signals when the cold sore is on the way. The infected area will feel warm, tingling, perhaps even itchy up to two full days before you see the physical signs. If you begin treatment during this early stage, you’ll limit the severity of the outbreak.

When the small red blisters bumps begin to surface on your lip, or corner of your mouth, it’s critical to not touch the area at all. This is most contagious stage and the fluid in those bumps will infect other areas of your body and the people around you.

The best treatment option in the early stages is a prescription antiviral medication. These come in pill or ointment form and will help limit the growth of the virus. There are some ointments to help relieve the pain and itchy senstations available over the counter. People often get relieve from a cool compress on the area for about 20 minutes.

So Kaley, although cold sores are often a nuisance phyiscally, there are several ways to limit the frequency or severity of a potential outbreak. Your doctor can help determin the best treatment option for you.

soundoff (302 Responses)
  1. Unitmerienepeft

    tadalafil without a doctor prescription tadalafil generic tadalafil daily online https://tadalafilww.com/

    May 24, 2021 at 00:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Tritreviewifind

    https://tadacipetadalafil.com/ cheap generic cialis for sale https://tadalafilww.com/ – cheap generic cialis for sale cost of cialis

    May 24, 2021 at 00:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. tausAffessy

    https://tadalafilol.com/ where to order tadalafil tablets https://apcalisetadalafil.com/ – tadalafil without a doctor prescription cost tadalafil generic

    May 24, 2021 at 01:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. combigan

    combigan generic prices combigan side effects

    May 24, 2021 at 02:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. tausAffessy

    cialis without prescription where to buy cialis without prescription tadalafil blood pressure tadalafil cialis https://apcalisetadalafil.com/

    May 25, 2021 at 00:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Tritreviewifind

    lowest price cialis https://tadalafilol.com/ – tadalafil cost in canada tadalafil generic side effects for tadalafil https://tadalafilol.com/

    May 25, 2021 at 06:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Dwayne Froio

    Will computer engineers in the philippines be able to have a licensure exam?


    May 26, 2021 at 04:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. tausAffessy

    tadalafil daily online https://tadacipetadalafil.com/ – cialis without a prescription where to buy cialis without prescription buy generic cialis online with mastercard https://tadagatadalafil.com/

    May 26, 2021 at 05:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Unitmerienepeft

    cialis tadalafil tadalafil generic prescription tadalafil online buy tadalis https://tadalafilol.com/

    May 26, 2021 at 06:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. chitiyo

    I am chitiyo from Chicago USA, I can't stop thanking DR goodnews  for this Great thing that he has done in my life, I am so grateful to him, i was
    suffering from Herpes virus and kidney failure when i contacted DR goodnews after reading the wonderful testimony that people has been sharing about
    him, when i contacted him, he assured me that he will cure me with his herbal medicine which he really did, and i am now completely cured from Herpes virus and kidney failure. What will i say rather than thanking him for saving me. Why suffering in silence when there is remedy to your diseases.
    Dr goodnews also specialize in curing the following disease:
    *Kidney failure
    *Eye Problem
    *Skin Problem
    *Fibroid Tumor
    *Prostate Problem
    *Weight Management
    *Low sperm can
    *Weak erection
    *Weak ejaculation
    *Pile e.t.c For more information contact Drgoodnews via email:drgoodnewstemplel@gmail.com or whatsapp him +2348160802790

    May 26, 2021 at 08:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Tritreviewifind

    best price usa tadalafil https://cttadalafil.com/ generic tadalafil from uk cheapest tadalafil cost side effects for tadalafil

    May 26, 2021 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. brimonidine

    combigan coupon brimonidine tartrate

    May 26, 2021 at 22:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. tausAffessy

    buy cialis cialis at canadian pharmacy cost tadalafil generic https://tadalafilww.com/

    May 27, 2021 at 00:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Tembepteriope

    buy tadalis https://tadalafilww.com/ – generic tadalafil from uk cialis tadalafil buy tadalis generic cialis online fast shipping

    May 27, 2021 at 04:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Soosteemocush

    https://apcalisetadalafil.com/ lowest price cialis https://apcalisetadalafil.com/ – tadalafil cost in canada buy tadalafil

    May 27, 2021 at 16:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. slot 918kiss plus

    Magnificent items from you, man. I have have in mind your stuff previous to and you're just extremely
    great. I really like what you have bought right here, really like what you're saying and the best way in which you say it.
    You are making it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it
    smart. I cant wait to read far more from you. That is actually a wonderful website.

    Feel free to visit my page: slot 918kiss plus

    May 31, 2021 at 00:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. kiosk 918kiss plus

    Just want to say your article is as astounding. The clarity
    in your post is just excellent and i could assume you are
    an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to
    grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post.
    Thanks a million and please keep up the enjoyable work.

    Feel free to surf to my webpage – kiosk 918kiss plus

    June 3, 2021 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. 토토사이트

    My programmer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP.
    I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.
    But he's tryiong none the less. I've been using Movable-type
    on a number of websites for about a year and am worried about
    switching to another platform. I have heard very good things about blogengine.net.
    Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into it?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    June 4, 2021 at 21:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. xe88sg.com

    I was curious if you ever considered changing the layout of your website?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got
    to say. But maybe you could a little more
    in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or 2
    images. Maybe you could space it out better?

    Also visit my blog – 918kiss plus vip – xe88sg.com,

    June 4, 2021 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. hAeNdPFGzKBNLp

    5902 511889Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers? Im kinda paranoid about losing everything Ive worked hard on. Any recommendations? 223039

    June 4, 2021 at 22:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. hydroxychloroquin

    malaria drugs list plaquenil 10 mg chroloquine

    June 5, 2021 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Jeanne

    Great website. Plenty of helpful info here. I'm sending it
    to some pals ans additionally sharing in delicious. And naturally,
    thank you to your sweat!

    Feel free to visit my blog post 918kiss plus android download,

    June 6, 2021 at 04:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. robin nicole

    Am here with appreciation  to say a very big thank you to mrs joy Nelson,  for introducing me to Dr okosun the great HERBALIST that helped me prepare home remedies that cured my herpes simplex virus (HSV1&2)
    I was infected with herpes for the past four years and i was not happy all day so i was desperate to get a cure so that i can live normal and get healthy. One day i was less busy so i decided to make latest research on herpes  cure  and i found a site were everyone was talking about Dr okosun and has ability to cure Herpes, HIV, HPV, Cancer, ALS, COPD, Anthrax, genital wart, cold sore, Arthritis skin tag and all manners of diseases and virus.So i discussed with joy  and she explained to me that its very easy working with Dr okosun  so i contacted Dr okosun via email  drokosun55@gmail.com 
    And he helped me just as he has helped others , after using his medication for four weeks which was a month, I was completely cured and  now I am   cured from herpes, am very happy, and i can also assure you that he can also help you. so if you need the service of DR okosun kindly contact him on....   drokosun55@gmail.com or whatsapp +2348124363791.
     visit his website https://drokosun55.weebly.com
    here is my private email, you can also get in touch with me to know more about this doctor robinnicole005@gmail.com  
    am really indeed grateful dr okosun for saving my life, i will continue telling the world about your miracles.

    June 6, 2021 at 05:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. sandra ruiz

    Powerful Herbal treatment is 100% guarantee for HSV cure, the reason why most people are finding it difficult to cure HSV 1 or 2 is because they believe on medical report, drugs and medical treatments which is not helpful to cure HSV and hasnít proved any sign of helping. Natural roots/herbs are the best remedy which can easily eradicate herpes forever. I never believed it until I was helped and cured of my 16 months genital herpes with natural herbal medicines from Dr Aza. Where other medical prescribed drugs and treatments failed, Dr Aza natural herbs helped saved me from Genital herpes permanently and i am so grateful for this. You can also get help from this great and powerful African Herbalist Dr Aza on his website http://www.drazaherbalcenter.com or you can also contact Dr Aza through his email; drazaherbalcenter@gmail.com   or WhatsApp him via:  +1(315) 795 1518 .       

    June 7, 2021 at 02:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. buy chloroquine phosphate tablets

    quinine vs hydroxychloroquine chloroquine new zealand malaria usmle

    June 7, 2021 at 11:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. great dumps shop

    701971 942051You ought to join in a contest very first with the greatest blogs on the web. I will recommend this web website! 186999

    June 8, 2021 at 02:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Latrina Mashack



    June 8, 2021 at 08:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. James Caroline

    I’m very excited to inform everyone that I’m completely cured from HSV1&2 recently. I have used Oregano oil, Coconut oil, Acyclovir, Valacyclovir, Famciclovir, and some other products and it’s really help during my outbreaks but I totally got cured from HSV1&2 with a strong and active herbal medicine ordered from a powerful herbalist called Dr. Riaria and it completely fought the virus away my nervous system and I tested negative after 14 days of using the herbal medicine. I’m here to let everyone know that the herpes virus has a complete cure, I got rid of mine with the help of Dr. Riaria and his herbal exploit. Contact him via email: drriaria@gmail.com  or WhatsApp him at +2349134987375.

    June 8, 2021 at 20:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Virgilio Earwood



    June 8, 2021 at 23:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Tanisha Sharell

    I want to appreciate Dr Odiagbe for giving me back my life again. I was diagnosed with herpes virus after the use of Dr Odiagbe herbal medicine. I got cured, all thanks to Dr Odiagbe I will forever be grateful to him. you can contact home on Gmail drodiagbesolutionhome@gmail.  com

    June 13, 2021 at 13:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. freecad

    496583 936147If running proves to be a problem then it may possibly be wise to locate alternative exercises such as circuit training, weight training, swimming or cycling. 652466

    June 19, 2021 at 04:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. xe88-my.Com

    If you desire to take much from this article
    then you have to apply such techniques to your won blog.

    Feel free to visit my blog post ... Free download game 918kiss plus (xe88-my.Com)

    June 19, 2021 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. jackpot 918kiss plus

    Outstanding post however I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this
    topic? I'd be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more.

    My homepage: jackpot 918kiss plus

    June 19, 2021 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. download 918kiss plus

    We stumbled over here different web address
    and thought I should check things out. I like what I see so now i'm following you.
    Look forward to looking at your web page repeatedly.

    Here is my web-site; download 918kiss plus

    June 21, 2021 at 20:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. 918kiss plusapk

    If you want to improve your knowledge only keep visiting this site and be updated with the most up-to-date information posted here.

    My homepage :: 918kiss plusapk

    June 21, 2021 at 20:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Larbidhf

    How to find the fetish dating sites

    With the great attributes and contribution of the internet towards the evolution of the online dating services, People can now find their ideal match from luxury of their couch. It happens to be stupendous to see a dating site catering to every section of the audience. despite your dating preferences, there is a website that matches plentyoffish your tastes. Such is the boon of the fetish dating sites online which are meant when it comes to dating those chubby girls and women who are interested in Sock, Foot fetish as well ect. The fetish sites are mushrooming all across line proving that love has no boundaries. But the profundity of the question here is that how do we find the best fetish dating site? The internet is a vast ocean and thanks to the increasing number of online dating services, It has become extremely hard to find a website that suits you best. this article aims to help big, Beautiful women and their admirers pick the best website, Where they can connect amongst eachother and sow the seeds of a long term relationship. Take a glance at the examples below points before selecting a fetish dating site. Compare the various fetish online sites: preceding, People were required to register on their own some of the fetish dating sites and put up their profile. Whichever dating site gives you the most of connections with the large sized hot and chubby girls should be your apt choice for fetish dating. Check out on the authenticity of the dating site: It is important to be sure about the website being used for fetish dating whether it is genuine or just another fraud site trying to vacant your funds with their only motto. outcome, You can browse through the fetish singles that are out there in your area and check out whether there exist some of them in veracity or not. Go for premium fetish paid dating sites: In order to make sure you have chosen the right fetish dating site it is extremely necessary that you begin with a trial online fetish dating site which is free of cost. It is advised that you choose a premium dating site as the chances of finding scammers are even less on them. throughout the cooking,try and privacy factor assured: make sure the website you have entrusted for fetish dating keeps you assured of all the conversations, Snaps and videos you exchange with your girl as a matter of privacy. you can check out an authentic review site that can give insights on various aspects of some of the leading fetish sites. Make sure you follow all these guidelines while searching for a genuine fetish dating site.3 Ideas for a Romantic DateSecrets of gatwick: Abode to manchester EscortsLuv Asian Massage: Paradise to enjoy Sensual BlissShould you use online dating sites in your later years?obtaining Love Online with (the casino craps game of Men) rrnternet site.

    June 24, 2021 at 01:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. curso mestres do bitcoin 3.0 vale a pena

    Excellent post. I certainly love site. 666031677


    June 24, 2021 at 21:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Teresa Kobler

    Great articles. Thank you for the information what is the best way to learn spanish at home?


    June 25, 2021 at 14:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. pharmaceptica.com

    tadalafil research chemical https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 26, 2021 at 12:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. 918kiss plus test id

    Sweet blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I've been trying for a while but I never seem to
    get there! Cheers

    My site; 918kiss plus test id

    June 28, 2021 at 01:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. alvaro steven

    BEST NATURAL WAYS TO CURE HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS HSV1&2 WITH THE HELP OF DR AZA NATURAL HERBAL MEDICINE.Its a miracle that I am alive today. I encounter HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS (HSV1/2) for good four (4) years, before I meet the great Dr. Aza. I am from New Jersey, united state of America and I was affected with herpes virus.Herpes is a viral infection cause by the Herpes simplex virus, marked by painful, watery blister in the skin or mucous membrane or on the genitals. This was what I suffered for good four years. I have visited CVS Pharmacy in Fresno for treatment but no improvement. I meet Dr. Aza online while I was searching for herpes cure I read a testimony about his work. I give a try that now becomes a testimony in my life am now fully cure. kindly contacted Dr Aza :contact his Email: drazaherbalcenter@gmail.com whatsapp +1(315)7951518 his website; drazaherbalcenter.com

    June 29, 2021 at 12:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. tdameritrade077@gmail.com

    Join our profitable company without stressing about your work, is a simple trading system just to get your plan of your choice and make a lowest of $2000 with just a little amount of investment, you can make upto $40,000 to $200,000 within a month depending on your plan of investment you can contact supporter ASAP through : tdameritrade077@gmail.com

    July 21, 2021 at 20:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Jamie Ridely

    The herpes simplex virus usually enters the body through a break in the skin around or inside the mouth. It is usually spread when a person touches a cold sore or touches infected fluid—such as from sharing eating utensils or razors, kissing an infected person, or touching that person's saliva. A parent who has a cold sore often spreads the infection to his or her child in this way. Cold sores can also be spread to other areas of the body. Luckily there is a cure for herpes. You can purchase herbs from ( worldrehabilitateclinic. com )

    January 28, 2022 at 04:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. ป๊อกเด้ง ฝากถอนไม่มีขั้นต่ำ

    262339 148762Perfectly composed content material , thankyou for entropy. 1326

    June 16, 2022 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. scofio willie (@ScofioW)

    Reach his personal email for any Questions about herpes help at___________: R.buckler 11 [at] G mail com”.........

    July 6, 2022 at 05:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. dutch

    one of the best articles ever read

    July 30, 2022 at 11:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. german ==$0

    loved to read the things author mentioned

    July 30, 2022 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. ' News

    the doctor explained everything very well in detail

    July 30, 2022 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Batt

    thanks for such a nice post sir

    July 30, 2022 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.