The herpes simplex virus, also known as HSV, is an infection that causes herpes. Herpes can appear in various parts of the body, most commonly on the genitals or mouth. There are two types of the herpes simplex virus. HSV-1, also known as oral herpes, can cause cold sores and fever blisters around the mouth and on the face. ""Prodromal Symptoms"" such as pain, itching, or tingling, often precedes the blisters by one to two days. You may have a a sore throat, or swollen glands in your neck. After the prodromal stage, blisters appear, they usually break open, and leak clear infectious fluid, and then crust over lasting 2–24 days.
Canker sores are not the same thing as cold sores. Cold sores usually occur on the outer lip, but canker sores are found inside the mouth. Sometimes people mistakenly associate canker sores with cold sores. Oral Herpes usually appears on the roof of the mouth or the gum area. A sore in the soft tissue of the mouth is usually a canker sore.
Herpes Whitlow, herpes occurring on the fingers, is often contracted from touching cold sores. Practice good hygiene and wash your hands as soon as possible after touching cold sores or sensitive areas in the prodromal stage to prevent spreading the virus.