Herpes simplex: Overview
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:
Herpes simplex labialis
After clearing, herpes simplex sores can return. When the sores return, the outbreak tends to be milder than the first outbreak.
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.
Image used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.