Is It Safe To Kiss Someone With A Cold Sore
Kissing can become a very unpleasant experience if you contract a virus infection afterward. In most cases, getting any sort of virus from kissing is not that harmful. Most infections and diseases are treatable and go away after a few days.
For example, a cold sore. The cold sore is fluid-filled blisters that are usually small and appear around your lips. They will, in most cases, appear as a small cluster on their own. These blisters will eventually break and create a scab that will fall off at some point. Obviously, it’s not pleasant or pretty so it can be a terrible experience to have an outbreak.
Getting more technical, a cold sore is a popular name for the disease caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). Even though the name is scary, it’s not as serious as other transmittable diseases.
The HSV-1 is a very contagious virus that spreads easily. So, is it safe to kiss someone with a cold sore? The answer is no. It’s a popular belief that you can kiss someone after the cold sore has scabbed off. That’s not true at all. You’re contagious for as long as you have a cold sore, which usually lasts 2 weeks.
So, as you can see, kissing someone with a cold sore can be dangerous. Now, if you have already done it, you might want to know what to do about it. Or at least, how to treat it if you currently have a cold sore.
Whatever your reasons are, below you can get a more detailed explanation about all that and more. Just make sure to pay attention before kissing someone and to avoid spreading it, if you currently have a cold sore.
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How is it spread
The HSV-1 virus is spread through contact skin on skin. The virus is transmitted through saliva as well. It’s important to point out that the virus will enter your system through any small cut that is present where the virus comes in contact with.
So, to be more straightforward, you can contract the virus through a kiss, oral sex, and even sharing utensils and towels that came in contact with the virus. Usually, anything that has mucus such as saliva and DNA such as your skin.
Now, even if you can’t feel a small cut in your mouth, it does not mean that you can’t contract the virus. It’s totally possible to have very tiny cuts in your mouth that you can’t really feel but are enough for the virus to get in.
That’s why the best you can do is to avoid kissing someone if they have a cold sore. Now, the bad news is that you might get the virus even if the person is not having a cold sore at the moment. Having the virus in their system is enough to pass it on.
What Activates The Virus
Now, in case you do have the virus and does not even know it, there might be things that activate the virus that is, in most cases, dormant in your body. These triggers are what reactivates the virus and make the cold sore happen.
For instance, stress is the main trigger for a cold sore. If you’re going through a stressful moment in your life, you’re way more likely to get a cold sore than the average person.
Other triggers are sun exposure, hormonal changes, fatigue, infection, and fever. Those other triggers are important because if you get a cold sore you can better trace back the trigger. If you do find what is triggering your breakouts, you can better avoid them altogether.
As you can see, most of the triggers are emotional. That’s why cold sores are so common among the teenage population. Knowing this is important because you’ll notice that a cold sore usually happens as a sort of side effect from a bigger problem like stress.
In this case, the best you can do is treat not only the cold sore but also the trigger. After all, you don’t want this to keep happening.
When It Might Be Safe
As mentioned above, you can’t kiss someone at any stage of the 2 weeks that the person has a cold sore. For as long as the person presents the blisters on their lips, you still can get the virus.
As a matter of fact, you can get the virus even if the person does not present any sign that the virus is activated. If the person has the virus in their system, you can contract the virus if you also have a small cut.
The point is that you can get the virus at any moment through oral sex or a kiss, but you’ll definitely get the virus if you kiss someone while they have a cold sore. That’s why the best you can do is to stop the kissing if your significant other has a cold sore at some point.
So, to sum it up, as long as the other person has a cold sore, it is not safe to kiss them. The best you can do is to wait the 2 weeks that the cold sore lasts and make sure that you don’t have small cuts or lesions in your mouth.
When Is The Most Contagious Stage
Even though a cold sore is contagious at any stage, it is worse before it has scabbed off. At that stage, the blisters are filled with liquid. In that liquid, there is a larger concentration of the virus.
So, even though the cold sore is contagious the whole time, it is more contagious at the beginning stages. That’s when you’re more likely to contract the virus even if you don’t have any lesions in your mouth.
The important thing that you can do is to avoid both getting physical contact with anyone and also avoid touching the cold sore unless you’re applying any sort of topical medication. These steps can help you avoid spreading the virus.
The HSV-1 is very contagious and once you contract it, you have it for life. So, it’s important to avoid the best you can to ever getting the virus. That’s why you should wait until the cold sore has disappeared before having any contact with anyone. So, even though the earlier stages are the most contagious ones, you should avoid physical touch altogether for as long as the cold sore is there.
How To Know If You Contracted The Virus
In case you’re wondering if someone may have infected you with the HSV-1 virus, there are a few signs that can help you find out. Now, even though you won’t do a physical exam to know whether or not you’ve got the virus, you can observe physical symptoms.
So, in the early stages, it is common that you experience 3 symptoms. You might experience only 1 of them or even the 3 at the same time. If you notice a tingling, swelling, or soreness near or around your mouth, the chances of you having contracted the virus are high.
Now, if this is the first time that you might have contracted the virus and is experience a cold sore, you can feel fever, headache, painful mouth sores, and other symptoms. The important thing is that you pay attention to everything that you’re feeling. Also, as soon as you notice the symptoms, begin treating to make the cold sore go away faster. If you have any of these symptoms the chances of having contracted the virus are high but it may still be a coincidence. Your judgment is the best thing you have in this case.
How To Treat It
It’s important to get one thing out of the way first. You cannot get rid of the HSV-1 virus once you have it. It’s just not possible to get it off your system. What’s going to happen is that some triggers will activate the virus from time to time and you will experience cold sores. For the rest of the time, it’ll be there dormant.
Now, there are a few things that you can do to speed up the healing process and alleviate the symptoms of the cold sore. The first thing that you can do is to apply cold pressure such as ice cubes on the blisters. This will help with the swelling and soreness in general.
Once you do the basic treatment, you can consider medications. You have the option of treating it with an injection of antiviral medication. Or do the treatment with pill and creams. The best you can do in your case is to consult your doctor before taking any medication, especially if this is your first time having a cold sore.
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So, that’s it. It is not safe to kiss someone with a cold sore. The best you can do is to wait for the outbreak to go away, even though the earlier stages are the most contagious ones. Just make sure to treat it and avoid any physical contact during the 2 weeks that it normally lasts the cold sore.