Smiling curious healthy woman with no cold sores.

Be Prepared.

Can Cold Sores Spread?

You probably already know that HSV-1 is as easy to spread as it is tough to fight.

Because cold sores are contagious, they can be spread through skin-to-skin contact. The cold sore or fever blister gets passed to you from someone with the virus through a mucous membrane in your mouth or damaged skin. Then it remains dormant in a nerve in your cheek until a cold sore trigger awakens it.

As you’re reaching for your Abreva®, you should also be following these safeguards:

 No Kissing

Cold sores are spread by getting up-close and personal. At any stage of an outbreak, when you kiss your loved ones, especially on the mouth, you may pass on the virus to another person. And remember, though not as common, cold sores can spread to other parts of the body, too.

 No Sharing Food and Utensils

Even though you’re not directly making skin-to-skin contact when you share food and utensils, it is still not a good idea to share anything you put your mouth on. That goes for straws, cups and glasses.

 Do Not Touch!

If you find yourself touching your cold sore: stop! But if you just can’t, remember to wash your hands right away. Your cold sore is contagious throughout its entire cycle. When it’s weeping or seeping, stand clear!

And follow these tips:

 Recognize the Signs of an Outbreak

Don’t be fooled by a cold sore that’s contagious even before you even see it. When you feel that tingling, itching, or burning on or around your lips - take the same precautions you would as if there was actually a visible cold sore.

 Avoid Your Triggers

Try to limit cold sore flare-ups by knowing your triggers. Then take action to avoid them. Fewer outbreaks mean a lower risk of infecting others, simple as that.

 Protect Young Kids

Kids get cold sores, too. Because the HSV-1 virus is often first contracted during childhood, take the same precautions with children as you do with other adults.