Cold sore. Woman's upper lip infected by the Herpes simplex virus (HSV) and known as a cold sore. This is a common and troublesome viral infection characterised by the appearance of painful fluid-filled blisters. It is contagious and usually spread by direct contact with the blisters or the fluid they contain. Herpes simplex virus exists in two forms known as HSV1 and HSV2. HSV1 is usually associated with infections of the lips, mouth and face, whereas HSV2 with infections of the genitals. Herpes simplex cannot be cured. Treatment depends on its type, site and severity. Antiviral drugs, such as acyclovir, can be used to reduce the severity of an attack.
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