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I Kissed Someone With a Cold Sore: What Should I Do?

I Kissed Someone With a Cold Sore: What Should I Do?

Oct 12, 2022

By the look on her face, I could tell there was something wrong with my best friend as we sipped on our iced coffees.   

After a brief moment of silence, she blurted out: “I kissed someone with a cold sore, what should I do?” 

To say she was panicking was an understatement.

kissed someone with coldsore

I did a little research for her and decided to share what I learned with the world. I know there are many people out there that may be wondering the same thing.

My simple goal is this: when you finish reading this article, you should be able to walk away knowing what you should do if you kiss someone with a cold sore.

What Are Cold Sores?

Cold sores are also coined as fever blisters. These blisters are filled with fluid. They will usually group together and appear in the same spot.  

There is no “cure” for cold sores, but you can treat cold sores in a number of ways to reduce pain and symptoms. 

You can:

(1) use topical cream 

(2)  take prescribed medication, or

(3) go on a probiotic regimen.

It can be a stressful time, but cold sores should only last for two to three weeks. Of course, getting treatment sooner rather than later can help the cold sore to go away quicker.

What Causes Cold Sores?

The most common cause of a cold sore is from the virus known as herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two types of HSV, type one and HSV type two.

HSV-1 is where cold sores on the lips come into play.

HSV-2 usually is associated with genital herpes. According to the Mayo Clinic, they both can appear on the mouth and on the genitals.

It is less common for cold sores to appear in HSV-2.  

Most people would associate getting herpes with sexual intercourse. While this is one way herpes can get passed, it can be passed if you kiss someone while having an active cold sore.

You can also contract the herpes virus from sharing food, sharing utensils and other objects that are used by the affected person.  

How Long Are Cold Sores Contagious?

Cold sores are very contagious. Especially when the blister is present.

The contagiousness goes down when it scabs over, but the possibility of passing it on is still there.

A cold sore is usually contagious the whole time it is on your mouth. When the blister ruptures is when a cold sore is most contagious. You can expect a cold sore to be contagious for the whole time you or another has one.

cold sores contagious

There is a possibility that someone would not have any symptoms or signs of a cold sore and still pass the virus. This is what makes it so easy to go undetected at times and hard to trace down from whom you contracted it.

This is also why it is important to not judge someone who does have a visible outbreak or not. Some people can carry the HSV virus but be asymptomatic (no symptoms) for their entire life. 

What Triggers a Cold Sore?

There are many environmental factors that can trigger a cold sore.

  • Stress
  • Foods
  • Fever
  • Sunburn
  • Menstruation
  • Allergies
  • Fatigue

Let’s look at some of the factors that can cause a herpes flare up

Food-Related Cold Sore Factors

Research indicates that restricting foods that contain a lot of arginine can help stage off lip outbreaks and lip blisters. 

Arginine is an amino acid used by the body to synthesize proteins. Arginine-containing foods that may trigger a lip outbreak include:


Nuts - including almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and hazelnuts






Dark leafy greens (for example, spinach)

Seeds - including pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and flax seeds

In addition, large changes to the routine of your diet, such a sudden, increased consumption of highly acidic foods, can increase the frequency of outbreaks.

Health-Related Cold Sore Factors  

Many health-related factors can make an outbreak more likely. This includes:

Hormonal changes: Fluctuating hormone levels, such as what occurs during menstrual cycles, pregnancy, or as a result of birth control pill use, can trigger lip outbreaks and lip blisters.

Mental stress can wreak havoc on the immune system and predispose you to lip outbreaks. This one is largely due to the increased levels of cortisol that is released under stress, which suppresses the immune system.

can i kiss with cold sore

Lack of sleep. Similar to stress, feeling tired and losing out on quality sleep can make it more likely to suffer a lip outbreak. Sleep deprivation majorly taxes the immune system.

Common colds and flu weaken the immune system and can up the chance of an infection. Inflammatory conditions that stress the immune system, such as eczema and psoriasis, can also make an lip outbreak or cold sore more likely.

Mouth surgery, and even dental treatment can put physical stress and pressure on the mouth area. The stress and anxiety accompanying these procedures can also further increase the chances of a lip outbreak.

Skin Injuries. Skin trauma, particularly around the lips, can trigger lip outbreaks and blisters

Immunosuppressant Medications. This includes medications to control severe psoriasis, cancer chemotherapy, or anti-rejection drugs for organ transplants. All of these can suppress the immune system and make an lip outbreak more likely.

Can You Get a Cold Sore From Kissing?

cold sore from kissing

Okay, let’s get back to our question: I kissed someone with a cold sore, what should I do

In all honesty, there is nothing you can do right away from stopping a cold sore from developing (or not developing). 

The truth is, you can get a cold sore from kissing someone. This can happen whether they have an active outbreak or not.

Remember not everyone may show signs or symptoms of one. It can be hard to tell if someone you are kissing has the virus or not.

You will have a better chance of contracting a cold sore when there is a blister present. If one is not present you will have a lesser chance, but there is still a chance of you contracting one.

How Soon After Kissing Someone With a Cold Sore Will You Get One?

Generally, it can take anywhere from four to seven days for HSV symptoms to appear. Both oral and genital herpes outbreaks have similar symptoms in sores that resemble blister. 

An outbreak will depend on your health and what stage of cold sore the person you kissed was at. 

What Are the Symptoms of Cold Sores?

There are some that know when one is going to pop up. So let me go over the list of the symptoms that you could experience.

These symptoms can be present and sometimes undetected. This is because some can be mistaken to be another ailment.

cold sore on lip

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), cold sore symptoms can include:

  •   Nausea
  •   Fever
  •   Swollen lymph nodes
  •   Headache
  •   Sore Throat
  •   Sore muscles

This will vary based on how well your immune system reacts. 

What To Do When You Have A Cold Sore

There are many things that you should do when you have a cold sore, as well as what you should not do.

Most of the time the cold sores will go away on their own. However, you may want to have a way to clear it up faster.

Whether that is from a cream, anti-viral, or probiotic. Here are some things you should keep in mind if you have a cold sore: 

  • Take care and not touch your face so much so you don’t spread the infection from one place to another on your body; 
  • For your own health and the health and safety of others, make sure you are consistently washing your hands; 
  • Do not share anything that you use with other people such as utensils, food, lip balm or other items that go in or around your mouth. This helps to not spread the virus as much as you can.
  • Refrain from kissing so long as you have the cold sore. This may seem difficult, especially if you have kids you love to shower in kisses, but it 

If you have kids, you will have to be stern with them about not drinking after you. You will also have to refrain from kissing their forehead or letting them touch your face.

Sometimes if children contract cold sores, it can affect them more as their immune system is not up to par. With babies, especially newborns, it can cause permanent damage or death

If you or anyone starts experiencing symptoms that do not go away or get worse over time, be sure to go to the doctor or go into an urgent care.

Probiotics and Herpes on The Lip

While you can never “cure” yourself of the HSV virus, an effective way to manage it is through probiotics regimen such as the one offered by  Clear Probiotics

Many people don’t know this, but cold sore defense starts in the gut and Clear’s Lip and Skin Defense, a scientifically formulated probiotic blend, brings you quick results and builds your immune system for long-term defence against outbreaks.

clear lip and skin

Probiotics such as Clear can help clear complexion by boosting collagen production in the skin for healthier and better-looking skin. Probiotics can also balance gut bacteria which means fewer outbreaks and better overall health with the right balance of good gut bacteria that ensures proper and efficient bodily functions.

If you are looking for a long-term solution to a long-term problem, Clear Probiotics can get your life back from the embarrassment of cold sores, skin outbreaks, and bad complexion.

Conclusion: Don’t Panic, But Know Your Facts  

I kissed someone with a cold sore … what should I do? is a question that may be on your mind if you made it to this page. 

When you end up kissing someone with a cold sore it can be stressful to know what to do next. I know it was to my friend, but she had calmed down after learning that it will be okay.

All of this information can be a lot to take in at one time, but it can also relax the worrier. Remember that many adults will get this at some point - and it’s perfectly normal when managed properly. 

Hopefully, this article has helped you in learning what to do when you kiss someone with a cold sore. Knowing that there are ways you can treat it like probiotics, creams, and antivirals is a relief.

You will not have to worry about not having something to help you through the breakout if need be.

I hope you got enough information that you are more knowledgeable and can go on and beat a breakout.