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DodgerWalker t1_j6ky6h1 wrote

I knew cold sores were caused by herpes, but for a long time, I thought “cold sores” were a different condition known as “canker sores” and thought that I had oral herpes only to find out later that canker sores were an unrelated thing.


BellyScratchFTW OP t1_j6kytb9 wrote

I also learned this too late in life. When I was in school, we covered STDs just like anyone else does. But they never mentioned "if you kiss someone with a blister on their lips, you may be stuck with something FOR LIFE".

Thankfully, I seem to have avoided it anyway.


[deleted] t1_j6l9nbf wrote

Imagine researching and finding a cure, you’d be an instant multi-millionaire


ElleRyder t1_j6mijmd wrote

There is a medication to control it, Valcyclovir. Developed in Canada by Dr. Stephen Sacks.


InfamousAnimal t1_j6oc4bz wrote

Which works as both an abortificent shortening the infection and healing time as well as a profillactic preventing an outbreak.


Remarkable-Hall-9478 t1_j6n7w79 wrote

Or imagine doing research and finding out that there are already vaccines in development moving to human trials, and realizing you are a gigantic cunt for trying to make millions of dollars on it - while being years late to boot - instead of just releasing it for free or to only recover research costs


allnamestaken1968 t1_j6lkdlh wrote

Maybe. 66% of the population have herpes simplex, but it doesn’t really show for most


sometimesmastermind t1_j6n3phv wrote

I've seen studies that show much much higher numbers. They don't even test for in many General tests you have to ask for it.


DaGurggles t1_j6mqapy wrote

You can still have it without symptoms. It may be dormant in your body.


garry4321 t1_j6oii07 wrote

Wondering why you didnt get the kissing disease throughout highschool huh?

Who wants to tell him?


pit1989_noob t1_j6kzs9y wrote

tell me about it, i got them because a dirty glass, but it seems a cure is on the work next 10 years or 20


TheOGburnzombie t1_j6lndiz wrote

I got them from using my mothers chapstick when I was younger because she got it from a newborn baby in the hospital she works at (I don't exactly know how the child had it or hoe she got it from that child)


Deinonychus2012 t1_j6p60e2 wrote

Child could have had it congenitally from its mom, your mom could've gotten it from the baby's spit as it was crying.


AFucking12Gage t1_j6mat34 wrote

Happy for you, I’ve had cold sores since I shared a zippy cup at day care when I was three. It sucks, cause I didn’t do anything wrong, but you make the most of it and live with it.


justwantedtoview t1_j6nehf1 wrote

Lol sharing a drink with anyone that had it previously can give it to you. Herpes will stay above 70% infection if people never stop sharing food like we do.


IAlwaysFeelFlat t1_j6ma53u wrote

Canker sores are mouth ulcers; for everyone else in the world.

They're usually caused by sharp/abrasive foods and/or bad diet, but can also be a physiological response to stress if you're some who's prone to them.

Cold sores or oral herpes (HSV-1) occurs in 2/3 people worldwide 1 and is about that high in the USA too 2 - though the majority don't display any symptoms. If you have a cold sore and someone takes the piss, chances are they also have HSV-1 and don't know.

Additionally, cold sores can sometimes be confused with in-growing hairs. If you pluck hairs out from around the mouth, sometimes they'll grow back without poking through the hole and can get infected.


LeaCTrockboys t1_j6lsst6 wrote

Dude that's not even that crazy, a LOT of people don't even know that HPV isn't herpes and that a canker sore isn't a cold sore. It's insane how much education a lot of people grew up with in modern times yet many adults are still super uninformed about STDs and just go off of hearsay or what a parent told them long ago.


horsetooth_mcgee t1_j6mar4f wrote

It's true, actual canker sores are not herpes, but way too many people refer to cold sores as canker sores.


aversionals t1_j6m7hzd wrote

i am.....learning a lot in this thread, as someone that always thought they had herpes due to having canker sores......

I never knew canker sores were different from cold sores until now. what the fuck


seawitchbitch t1_j6m8jw4 wrote

If you get a lot of them, try a toothpaste without SLS.


accord281 t1_j6nrrcv wrote

and get a prescription for fluocinonide ointment from your dentist. Apply and let it sit for at least 5 minutes twice a day for two days (must catch them small) and they disappear!


Dinklemeier t1_j6nep90 wrote

You can get a herpes titer from your doctor or an std clinic. You may not even have hsv at all


Paddy_Fo_Faddy t1_j6leghb wrote

Cold sores are herpes. Chicken pox is herpes. Shingles is herpes. #EVERYTHING IS HERPES!!!!


FloatingSalamander t1_j6likbv wrote

Ok, but that's confusing for lay people. If anyone reads this comment and gets confused, all those viruses are in the herpes family. When we talk about herpes in everyday speak, we are only talking about herpes simplex 1 and 2. This is separate to the virus that causes chicken pox and shingles.


Real_Project870 t1_j6lmp3e wrote

And even further, when people are referring to herpes as an STI they’re referring to herpes simplex 2 which is only spread via genitals and tends to affect genitals. Meanwhile, ~2/3 of the population carries herpes simplex 1, it’s just cold sores and can be treated effectively w oral/topical antivirals.

Herpes Zoster is chicken pox, but people don’t realize the virus never leaves your body, it just lays dormant. Decades go by until herpes zoster flares up and causes painful shingles. There’s a vaccine, everyone over age 50 should get it.


BillyRay_Valentine t1_j6lwma3 wrote

I got pox late in life and man was it bad. I got those shots as soon as I could because I am not game for shingles at all!


snkn179 t1_j6mh1fc wrote

To add more info, there's 5 main types of virus in the herpes family that you'll often come across.

HHV-1: Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), causes cold sores.

HHV-2: Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2), causes genital herpes.

HHV-3: Varicella zoster virus (VZV), causes chickenpox and shingles.

HHV-4: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), causes mononucleosis (glandular fever) and various lymphoid diseases.

HHV-5: Cytomegalovirus (CMV), another cause of mononucleosis.

But yeah the everyday usage of the word herpes is just for the herpes simplexes (HSV-1 and HSV-2).


FloatingSalamander t1_j6ngzq7 wrote

The only thing to add is that although hsv 2 tends to give genital sores and HSV 1 oral sores, they both can infect both places.


nonotburton t1_j6lsyg2 wrote

You say this, but this was part of my high school biology class/sex Ed class. I'm from Louisiana, it's not like we've ever been much higher than Alabama or Mississippi in rankings.

If they're confused, it's because they weren't paying attention.


Bugaloon t1_j6m5c4b wrote

I think most people only ever really refer to hsv2 as herpes, I've never heard hsv1 (cold sores) referred to as herpes, because it's a bit alarmist.


pitshands t1_j6n6afw wrote

I grew up in Europe and if anyone referred (go e for a day or two) referred to Herpes it was HSV1. I don't see the point of it being alarmist. Edit wrote HPV first


Bugaloon t1_j6otbfo wrote

Well genital herpes are drastically different from a cold sore... we're talking genital blisters vs a red spot smaller than most pimples.


pitshands t1_j6oyyet wrote

First, I have seen HPV1 outbreaks that were huge and tbhnit looking that different from HPV2 if I can trust Google


TheJunklest t1_j6lug5v wrote

Your grandma and your old dog, Blue. The pope has got it, and so do you.


allnamestaken1968 t1_j6lkud8 wrote

Important to know the difference between herpes simplex (cold sores) and hsv-2, genital herpes. You can get hsv 2 from oral sex with somebody who has hsv 1 only when the sores are visible (simplifying here, exceptions seem to apply recently). Otherwise it’s really hard to get the Herpes everybody knows about (genital, 10-15% of population) from hsv1 (cold sores, about 2/3 of the population with the virus, many show no symptoms)

Some good meds for hsv 1 are available, mostly creams that make the sores go away quicker.

Good article:,States%20in%20a%20single%20year.&text=Nationwide%2C%2011.9%20%25%20of%20persons%20aged,%25%20when%20adjusted%20for%20age).


DownNotOut2021 t1_j6n9huo wrote

You can't get hsv2 from oral sex with someone who only has oral hsv1. You can get genital herpes from them but it will be genital hsv1, not hsv2.


horsetooth_mcgee t1_j6maugx wrote

You can still spread HSV1 without having a current outbreak or before the blister pops up.


GrowInTheSunshine t1_j6o0ujp wrote

1 and 2 are not interchangeable. You can get genital HSV1 from someone with oral HSV1. You don't get HSV2 from someone who has HSV1.


ackermann t1_j6m3pbn wrote

These sores that can lead to genital herpes, are they cold sores, or canker sores? I’m not quite clear on the difference. Some are on the outside of your lips, the other on the inside of you cheeks/gums?

Which one can be transmitted as genital herpes?

Seems to be some confusion here:


Bugaloon t1_j6m57y2 wrote

The outside one is cold sores (herpes), canker sores are fine.


Brilliant_Play4255 t1_j6kukxp wrote

The amount of people who do not know that man is merely animal, and good and evil merely concepts is surprising.


Ok-Possession-7727 t1_j6l28ym wrote

Humans are not animals


sg3niner t1_j6l9j83 wrote

Well we're not plants.

And despite what your junk must look like, we're not fungi either.


Brilliant_Play4255 t1_j6lbpro wrote

Some of us are partially silicone/Botox composition..

Maybe that's what they meant ?


Brilliant_Play4255 t1_j6lbluw wrote

That's just your fight or flight instinct talking.

Your an animal. And so is your mother.

Don't grit your teeth. We all are.


JaninnaMaynz t1_j6l3rpz wrote

I... remember learning this. Multiple times, actually. Because I dgaf, frankly, so I keep forgetting. It's not like that knowledge will make it go away faster...


BellyScratchFTW OP t1_j6l4d6p wrote

Or make it go away at all.


JaninnaMaynz t1_j6l53a3 wrote

One thing I hate is that every so often, my lips start drying out, so I start using lip balm, and right around the time I get hooked on the lip balm, I get a cold sore, infecting it. As soon as the cold sore starts healing, I stop using that lip balm to avoid a repeat infection, and I find I don't need lip balm anymore. After a while, my lips start drying out again, so I start using lip balm, and just as it becomes routine, COLD SORE! It heals, I don't need lip balm anymore. I start needing lip balm, and just when I think it might become a regular piece of my life, a cold sore swoops in and pushes me away again.


BellyScratchFTW OP t1_j6l5dgr wrote

I feel for you! Hope they create a cure for that some day. I know that would be frustrating.


That-Ad757 t1_j6melb8 wrote

Maybe use something else than lip balm speak to your doctor or pharmacist


JaninnaMaynz t1_j6nkiwe wrote

I'm talking once every 15 months or so. Lip balm is a cheap, pleasant option. And I'll be using it for 2 or 3 weeks before the cold sore appears. Most of the time, simply licking my lips provides all the moisture I need. But once in a while it's like my body decides that it makes it worse, instead. Thus, lip balm.


Rough_Jacket4023 t1_j6miq8h wrote

They make topical medication for cold sores that you put on when you start to feel like you're going to get one.


JaninnaMaynz t1_j6n8emu wrote

Yeah, but by the time I notice, the lip balm is infected.


Rough_Jacket4023 t1_j6p4gnc wrote

Throw away the balm and use the medicine


JaninnaMaynz t1_j6p6cf2 wrote

The medicine, at best, makes it go away faster. So does lip balm. I know because I've tested it. The medicine is maybe slightly faster than lip balm, but lip balm tastes better. Especially for someone sensitive to mint, when pretty much every product associated with the mouth is mint flavored. sigh


BillyRay_Valentine t1_j6lwghv wrote

These are the same people that think The Clap is a punk band from the 80’s and Syphilis is that guy pushing the huge rock up hill.


balrus-balrogwalrus t1_j6nmzmc wrote

same with people who think geese and ducks are males and females of the same bird like with roosters and hens


playr_4 t1_j6nuofr wrote

This is the first I've ever heard that this is a thing.


Wolvenhausen t1_j6ow5fw wrote

Yeah this guy definitely use to think they were the same animal until one day he found out they're not and ever since then he just has to state the fact that they're not cause he thought that was a common confusion


XercesGetsDown t1_j6ney4i wrote

Wait so me and about a third of my friends have f*cking herpes?!

Nah, get outta here...

But for all the std tests I've taken and it's never said anything like that? What gives? I'm confused.


BellyScratchFTW OP t1_j6nicji wrote

An STD test would have to include a panel for HSV-1. But yes, if a third of your friends have cold sores, or have ever had cold sores, then you have HSV-1 in your system.


XercesGetsDown t1_j6njwrb wrote

Err, well, thank you.

Should I not be doing something about it? Or am I essentially just stuck with herpes :o

What's the difference between myself and someone who's riddled with it on their genitalia then?


BellyScratchFTW OP t1_j6nlejd wrote

Cold sores are HSV-1 (herpes simplex virus 1). The ones downstairs are HSV-2. Both can be spread through contact. And HSV-1 can even be spread downstairs via contact on someone. Likewise, HSV-2 can be spread to mouths.

When having sexual encounters, use protection. If a cold sore/fever blister is present, do not share drinks, kiss, etc. HSV-1 generally does not spread unless the blisters are present.

But the virus will ALWAYS be in your system. If your immune system is ever compromised, it may present itself again.

Hopefully they'll come up with a cure for it some day.


AndNowUKnow t1_j6oplof wrote

The amount of people that do not know they have herpes is surprising... damn little bumps!


Wildjay7931 t1_j6lg5nd wrote

Seriously. So much other stuff is herpes too!

Everyone has the freaking herpes!


ComprehensiveSense t1_j6my6qg wrote

I recently started taking protein powder and developed cold sores. I have since learned protein powder contains Arginine which can cause cold sores to develop. Now, I've added Lysine supplements which is supposed to help counter against the Arginine. I did, however, always know that the cold sores were herpes and they are unpleasant.


[deleted] t1_j6kus3m wrote



chapstick1520 t1_j6kvn1f wrote

Std herpes is literally the same cold sore in a different location. This ^ is the most frustrating comment of all.


BellyScratchFTW OP t1_j6kwe2p wrote

Simplex 1 and simplex 2. Both can infect both locations. One is usually the lips and the other is usually downstairs.

But yeah, they're both herpes. And both a life long illness. And fairly easy to avoid. If it's got blisters, don't touch.


chapstick1520 t1_j6kyi2h wrote

Not fairly easy to avoid. 2/3 of the global population has HSV1 and 1/6 HSV2.

If you’re scared of both, you’re cutting your dating pool much smaller than someone with it. 80-90 percent of people that have it are asymptomatic. I’m one of them and doing just fine.

FYI chickenpox is also a lifelong illness. So is mono. We don’t think anything about those.


BellyScratchFTW OP t1_j6kzlk1 wrote

When I say "fairly easy to avoid", it's relative. For example, someone can have the flu around me and I may not know it. They could walk by and sneeze or cough in my general direction and that's it.

Herpes, either type, requires some sort of action between them. Sharing a drink. Sharing a body part.

Hope that helps make my comment make more sense. ( :


chapstick1520 t1_j6l0mx3 wrote

It’s not. Unless you’re testing every person before you even kiss them, in the US it’s a coin flip that the person you’re with carries the virus. In most European and Asian countries it’s 2/3 to 90 percent. For most of human history, having herpes was an accepted part of being human. Only in the last generation or two are we seeing thoughts and posts like yours.

While herpes is shed with a cold sore present most definitely, it can also be shed asymptomatically. So Just because someone never had cold sores, doesn’t mean that they can’t give you them. 80-90 percent of carriers are again, asymptomatic.

You not having either strain doesn’t mean you’ve done everything right, it just means you’re lucky. It’s pure chance. You can do everything “right” and still get it.

Of course. You can choose to not share items with people or test them before you kiss them. But imo, that’s overkill.

They only way you can truly avoid herpes is avoiding human contact and swearing celibacy.


BellyScratchFTW OP t1_j6l3n2p wrote

"...seeing thoughts and posts like yours."

I don't think I've given the impression that I think people with cold sores are "untouchable" or anything.

Yes, I realize it's been around a long time. And it's prevelant.

But if you avoid casual sexual encounters and using other's utensils, it's mostly avoidable.

(Please realize I used the qualifier "mostly". I know that some are just lucky. But avoiding unnecessary contact can prevent a lot of things.)


chapstick1520 t1_j6l3q11 wrote

Would you engage in a romantic relationship with someone with them?

And again, you can have sex with someone and you’re both virgins, and still get it genitally.

It’s not just prevalent, it’s more common to have it than not.

YOU are the outlier if you don’t have either strain. You almost certainly have Chickenpox or the Epstein-Barr virus, two other members of the herpes virus family that like HSV1 and 2, are incurable.


BellyScratchFTW OP t1_j6l49pe wrote

I've been married for many years now. So, no. And if I wasn't married and was dating around, then no - I would not willingly/knowingly sleep with someone that had herpes. But I am not the type of guy to sleep around anyway so it wouldn't matter.

Yes, I realize that a virgin can have herpes. It could have been transmitted during birth. But we're getting further away from the original topic so I'm about done here.


chapstick1520 t1_j6l4oqy wrote

So you’re saying you wouldn’t touch anyone with it. Period.

Tell your wife/husband you wouldn’t be with them over a few bumps (if they ever manifest). Unless you’ve both been tested beforehand, very likely he/she has it (it’s not included on standard STI panels).


BellyScratchFTW OP t1_j6l5716 wrote

I did not say I "wouldn't touch anyone" with it.

Since you are putting words in my mouth, I'll be done speaking with you now.


chapstick1520 t1_j6l5dpt wrote

Don’t post something stupid on Reddit if you don’t want people calling you out for said stupidity.


Old_Army90 t1_j6kv611 wrote

One of my least favorite episodes of The Office for a reason


ExNihiloish t1_j6nwwq7 wrote

Cold sores can also infect your brain. Herpes in the brain. It's lovely. Happened to a cousin of mine when he was young.


yezanyaCookies t1_j6o6qon wrote

I wrote herpes simplex type 2 on my assessment on a child and my nursing professor called me laughing while she said "that child cant possibly have herpes bec shes not having sex yet"


Showerthoughts_Mod t1_j6ksp4c wrote

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Remember, /r/Showerthoughts is for showerthoughts, not "thoughts had in the shower!"

(For an explanation of what a "showerthought" is, please read this page.)

Rule-breaking posts may result in bans.


[deleted] t1_j6l5cvg wrote



BellyScratchFTW OP t1_j6l5i3k wrote

Yes, herpes simplex 1 and simplex 2. Both can be transmitted to lips or crotch but generally prefer their own "homes".


bloooger3232 t1_j6mpegx wrote

Now that I think about it it’s been like 10 years since I’ve had a cold sore pop up. I used to have them every so often as a teen but in my late 20s I can’t even remember the last time one popped up.


sometin__else t1_j6mxq95 wrote

I used to always call canker sores cold sores. It wasn't until I got older that I learned a cold sore was different.


B8edbreth t1_j6nfx5p wrote

The number of people with herpes who don't know they have it is surprising.


aim_so_far t1_j6o3c0v wrote

When Type 1 Herpes is so common that over 2/3 of the population has it, why even care? The people that are trying to avoid it are in the minority.


Secure_Tiger1511 t1_j6o4df6 wrote

The amount of people that don’t know that almost everyone in the world has the herpes virus inside them already is way more surprising. About 90% has at least 1 of the 2 strains.


BellyScratchFTW OP t1_j6o5tm9 wrote

>at least 1 of the 2 strains 8 common strains that infect humans..

Chicken pox, Epstein-Barr, and others.


morethantheroach t1_j6ofh2f wrote

i find it scary more than surprising - i didn’t even know til i was 17 - i was sexually active and didn’t know cold sores could turn to genital herpes…. scary.


American_PP t1_j6otoxr wrote

A lot of people don't know a lot of things that they should know in general.

Alec Baldwin didn't know the first things about gun safety even though he handles guns for example.


burncushlikewood t1_j6ozcvo wrote

It's herpes simplex 1 so it's a different disease cold sores rarely flare up for me, I haven't had a flare up in over 4 years, however the percentage of people with cold sores is quite high between 50-80% of people have it, it's not nearly as potent as hsv-2


Signalguy25p t1_j6mze5l wrote

I get ulcers on my gums and on inside of my throat seldom. However allegedly I don't have herp 1 or 2. They reckon it is stress or something... idk


eggtart_prince t1_j6lyl61 wrote

A lot of people also don't know that saliva have HIV killing agents in them. This is why unprotected oral sex is much safer than unprotected intercourse in terms of catching HIV.