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Kissing with Cold Sores 101

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When it comes to cold sores, it’s important to know the facts from the fiction. For those who suffer with the virus, you probably know that cold sores can spread easily to others, whether they’re visible or not.

A common worry about catching cold sores is from kissing someone with the virus, but very few people are aware of the facts.

Can you catch cold sores from kissing?

Research has found that most people who contract the virus are first exposed to it at a young age. All the kissing, cuddling and general interaction is a playground for bacteria, making it easier for cold sores to spread.

However, kissing is one of the most common ways cold sores can spread, whatever your age. It’s not a surprise, as 85% of the UK population has the cold sore virus, and the average person spends at least two weeks of their lives kissing.

It might come as a shock that you could be carrying the virus, even if you’ve never had a cold sore and more often than not, it also means that you’re not immune. This is simply because cold sore symptoms don’t always show up regularly, which makes tracking a breakout difficult. This means that transferring the infection onto someone else is common because half of the time you can do so without even knowing about it.

When is it safe to kiss someone with a cold sore?

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to say. The most dangerous stage to kiss someone is when a previous cold sore is healing and has scabbed over, as this could be when the cold sore could burst.

Although this is the most high-risk stage to kiss someone, it’s safest to avoid smooching when they feel the first signs of a sore, and for several days after it has disappeared entirely. Any time the cold sore is active, it can be contagious.

What’s the best way to avoid catching a cold sore from kissing?

Communication is critical to avoid catching a cold sore through kissing. As kissing is part of many people’s daily routines, you should warn your partner whenever you start feeling the earliest signs of a cold sore.

See what certain lifestyle factors can act as a trigger, and find out more tips on how to cope with cold sores here.