At the mention of the term herpes, many people get scared. In addition, it’s easy to hear someone talking about having common cold but not cold sores. There are many misconceptions about the disease which requires to be straightened out.  A deeper analysis of the two types of infections is therefore necessary.


Oral Herpes

It’s also called cold sore or fever blisters. The infection is caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1. Cold sores infection normally affects the mouth region. Once infected by the virus, the virus may take some time in the body before the visible signs start to show up. When it does, the cold sores are visible in the mouth, lips, nose, cheek or the nose.

The fever blisters cause severe discomfort and pain. Without medication, the fever blisters last about a week or ten days before healing.

How HSV1 is transmitted

The cold sores are transmitted through physical contact. Thus it can be transmitted through the mouth to mouth contact, mouth to genital, or just getting in touch with the fluids from the blisters.


When you have oral herpes, you must not kiss anyone including babies. In addition, keep off oral sex or sharing the eating utensils with someone else. At the same time refrain from touching the itching blisters. When you pick at them, your hands contact the fluid. That makes it easier to spread the virus to other parts or the body.


Genital Herpes

The infection is usually caused by herpes simplex virus type 2 but can also be caused by the same virus that causes cold sores. Its victims usually have the cluster of sores around the genital region.

In addition to the sores other symptoms include:

  • Cracked and red areas around the genital region
  • Pain in the genital area or anus
  • Pain when the urine gets in touch with the sores.

At times you might have the virus in your body yet indicate no symptom at all. However, even in that condition, you can still pas on the virus.

How HSV2 is transmitted

Although the hsv2 infection is usually passed on from the genital to the genital, engaging in an oral sex with a cold sore victim puts you at risk too. Once infected by the virus you become a lifetime carrier.


First, it’s important to monitor when an outbreak is looming. Abstaining from oral sex or kissing during the outbreak is therefore advisable. Otherwise, use dental dams or latex condoms to cut down your chances of passing over the infection.


Similarities of the two infections

There are common ties between the two types of the infections as highlighted below:

  • Pre-emergence symptoms

Both show similar pre-emergence symptoms. Cold sore begins with a feeling of tingling or itching of the mouth region, hsv2 starts by a burning or tingling sensation of the genital region. The itchy area soon develops a reddish bump that eventually fully develops into blisters.

  • Cure and medication

Both have no known cure. Once infected by the virus, it stays in your body forever. However, there are medications and home remedies that help to manage the pain and the swellings.

  • Contagious

The two types of infections are highly contagious, especially when the sores have developed. Any physical contact with the victim puts one at risk. The physical contact can be oral to oral, mouth to genital or anybody contacts with the fluids from the blisters.

  • Dormant in the body

All can remain dormant in the body for quite a long period without showing the physical signs.  However, when the victim get exposed to any of triggers, an outbreak becomes inevitable.

  • Common triggers

There are common triggers that awaken a subsequent outbreak. The triggers include among others stress, low body immunity and exposure to sunrays.



The virus causing cold sores can cause genital herpes too. When you engage in oral sex with a cold sore victim you can get an infection in the genital area. However, there is very little proof to suggest hsv2 spreading in the form of fever blisters.



Herpes can manifest itself either around the mouth or genital area. The infection is contagious and thus safety measures, especially during outbreaks must be put into practice.

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