DR H.C.ROBINSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR H.C.ROBINSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cold sores. Area around the mouth affected by cold sores. This is a common and troublesome infection caused by the Herpes simplex virus, and characterised by the appearance of small 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 is prevalent in infections of the genitals. Herpes simplex is treated with antiviral drugs - antibiotic drugs are also used if the sores become infected with bacteria.
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