Herpes simplex. After clearing, herpes simplex sores can return. When the sores return, the outbreak tends to be milder than the first outbreak.
Herpes simplex is a common viral infection. If you’ve ever had a cold sore or fever blister, you picked up the herpes simplex virus. Most cold sores are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). Other names for cold sores caused by HSV-1 are:
- Oral herpes.
- Mouth herpes.
- Herpes simplex labialis.
Herpes simplex viruses are contagious, even when you do not see sores.
A closely related herpes simplex virus, HSV-2, causes most cases of genital herpes. But either HSV-1 or HSV-2 can cause a herpes sore on the face or genitals.
Learn more about herpes simplex
Image used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.