7 Things You May Not Know About Cold Sores

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Laura McCarthy on Nov 4, 2009 at 2:30PM

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7 Things You May Not Know About Cold Sores

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Cold Sores on the Lips Can Cause Genital Herpes

In most cases, genital herpes and cold sores on the lips are caused by two different strains of the herpes virus: HSV-2 and HSV-1, respectively, although genital herpes can also be caused by HSV-1. However, if you have a cold sore on your lip and you engage in oral sex with your partner, you can transfer the HSV-1 virus, giving your partner genital herpes. Genital herpes caused by HSV-1 tends to be less severe and flare-ups tend to occur less frequently than genital herpes caused by HSV-2, but both are lifelong infections. Best advice: Avoid kissing and oral sex whenever you have a cold sore.

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