The same question has risen more commonly within the last decade. Can cold sores cause genital herpes? Even though it is technically the same virus, known as Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), both the viral infections are caused by two different strands namely HSV Type-1 and HSV Type-2.
The HSV-1 strand affects the mouth area (the cold sore virus) while the HSV-2 is found in the genital area. There was a time when these two strands were thought to have nothing to do with each other, but times have changed. Researches have proved otherwise.
Can Cold Sores Cause Genital Herpes?
Doctors understood that someone who carries one of these viruses has the ability to give it to someone else, but it wasn’t until recently that one can cause the other. This is typically due to oral sex. There have been multiple cases to prove that if someone who carries the mouth form of herpes engages in oral sex with someone during a breakout, then the chances of giving genital herpes is apparent.
But, the problem arises when someone is unaware that they carry the virus at all! One out of five Americans suffer from the herpes strand and more than half of them aren’t aware of any breakouts. In fact, a typical cold sore often goes unnoticed! Read also do most people get cold sores?
This is one of the major reasons why cold sores are able to cause genital herpes. And to add to it, more than 60% of the new genital herpes cases popping up have been caused by the HSV-1 strand.
Now, can cold sores spread? Is it a guarantee that you will contract the HSV-2 strand while engaging in oral sex with someone that has a cold sore? There isn’t a guarantee and a lot has to do with the strength of your immunity and age. The fact is that the younger a person is, the weaker their immune system is causing havoc when trying to fight off this virus.
There isn’t a cure, as of yet, but there are many medications that can help with controlling outbreaks that often cause the issue to begin with. So, can cold sores cause genital herpes? The answer is yes and something that should be aware of.