According to the World Health Organization, around two-thirds of adults aged 50 and older have HSV-1. The University of Michigan’s Health Service estimates that 50 percent of American kindergarten-age children already have HSV-1.
While a majority of HSV-1 cases involve oral herpes or cold sores, around 40 percent of cases involve genital sores. Although related, the genital herpes virus (HSV-2) and HSV-1 are usually unique in presentation.
Cold sores usually appear on the upper body, mainly around the lips and mouth, but they can emerge anywhere on the skin, including the tongue. In infants, cold sores are often mistaken for canker sores.
Cold sores caused by HSV-1 often last little over a week and then clear up on their own. There’s currently no cure, and infections are lifelong. However there are ways to decrease the length, intensity, and frequency of outbreaks.
Drugs are available, but many remedies use common grocery store ingredients and household staples.