Cold sores are small, painful blisters that appear in or around the mouth and lips. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus (Type 1).
Herpes simplex virus infections are very common. The virus is easily spread through close contact or kissing someone who is infected.
Although there are no specific treatments for cold sores, you can make your child more comfortable by giving him or her an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as children’s acetaminophen or ibuprofen. An ice pack or cool towel applied to the affected area can also bring some relief.
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, November 2019