You will often experience a tingling, itching or burning sensation around your mouth, before the appearance of a cold sore.

An estimated 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 (67%) have the HSV-1 infection globally

Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are tiny, fluid-filled blisters around your lips. The blisters are often grouped together in patches. After the blisters break, a scab form. Cold sores usually heal in two-three weeks.

Cold sores are caused by two types of the herpes simplex virus. The herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) usually causes cold sores, and the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) usually causes genital herpes. There is not a cure for both types of the herpes simplex virus.

HSV-1 is usually passed from person to person by kissing or shared objects. HSV-1 can spread by mouth to the genital area during oral sex. If this happens, it becomes genital herpes.

A cold sore goes through five stages

Stage 1: Tingling and itching occurs about 24 hours before blisters erupt.

Stage 2: Fluid-filled blisters appear.

Stage 3: The blisters burst and ooze. They form painful sores.

Stage 4: The sores dry out and scab over causing itching and cracking.

Stage 5: The scab falls off and the cold sore heals.

Once you've had a cold sore, the virus lies dormant in nerve cells until triggered by an event causing another cold sore.

Viral infection or fever

Hormonal changes, such as those related to Viral infection or fever

Hormonal changes, such as those related to menstruation



Exposure to sunlight and wind

Weakened immune system

Injury to the skin

Cold sores are extremely contagious.

Cold sores are extremely contagious when you have oozing. The virus easily spreads through contact with infected body fluids. But you can spread the virus even if you don't have blisters. Many people who are infected never develop signs and symptoms. According to National Institutes of Health, more than 50 percent of people in the United States have HSV-1.

Complications associated with cold sores.

Complications are rare, but can occur, especially in young children. Complications include high or persistent fever, difficulty breathing or swallowing, or red, irritated eyes with or without discharge. Complications are more likely to occur in people who have eczema or a condition that weakens their immune system, such as cancer or AIDS.

The Science

We were not satisfied with the status quo or existing products so we asked questions. We challenged whether this could be better. We mined scientific literature in pursuit of those answers.

The Science


Supports cold sore health. You have many things on your to-do list. You have family and friends to spend time with. There is a world waiting for you to explore. Cold sores should not be a concern. 

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