How Do You Get Oral Herpes: Just The Facts

how do you get oral herpes

Um, Kate? What's that on your mouth? Source: So Kiss Me

Whether you call them cold sores, fever blisters, or just “Oh God, what is that on my face?!,” one thing’s for sure: oral herpes can erase your smile (and make you want to hide your mouth) quicker than anything.

There are a lot of myths out there about oral herpes–some people think the blisters are a sign that somebody’s “easy.” So not true! In fact, most people actually get the herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores by the time they’re in high school–and no, it’s not just girls who make out a lot!

So how do you get oral herpes? What can you do about it? Here are all the facts:

  • Not all kinds of herpes are the same. Just because someone has oral herpes, it absolutely does not mean they have genital herpes, too!


  • The cold sores associated with oral herpes contain infected virus particles–which is why if you kiss someone with an active blister or share their lip balm or lip stick, the herpes can spread to your mouth, too.


The dreaded cold sore! Source: ChildrensMD


  • Once you get oral herpes, the virus stays in you forever, but the symptoms (cold sores!) will likely go away completely or only come back once in a great while.




  • There is no cure for oral herpes, but some over the counter creams like Abreva can help make the sores go away faster.
  • It’s incredibly rare, but you can get genital herpes from oral sex, if an active cold sore makes contact with your vaginal skin. Use condoms to be safe!



It’s pretty darn hard to avoid getting oral herpes in your life–but if you want to try, don’t kiss anybody with an active sore on their mouth, and definitely don’t share their lipsticks or lip balms either! And if you do get a little blister once in a while? It’s not that big of a deal. Just slap a little cover up on it, and you’re all good!

Have you ever had a fever blister? What did you do about it? Tell us in the comments!

Wanna learn something new about Pikachu? Check this out!

Posted in: Health, Health, Sex & Relationships, Help&Advice, Just the Facts, Love&Sex, News & Reviews, STDs & STIs, Your Body
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  • Ally

    So I made out with this guy and he called me up the next day asking me if I had herpes which I don’t think I do. He was my 2nd kiss and I’m only 13 I got a cold sore not soon after. Did he maybe have it and not know? Or can it litterly be activated from a regular cold sore? I’ve never dealt with this Before. I have shared lipstick with my friends in the past but they’ve never mentioned having it. I’m not sure what’s going on and I’m not sure if I have it or not. Freaking out here!

    • Mike

      There are no regular cold sores. A cold sore is a herpes outbreak. The only way to totally prevent it is to not kiss, have sex with, or drink after anyone who has not been recently tested. Paranoia can help to keep you herpes free, but if you had a cold sore the only way to know for sure is to have a blood test.

  • Olivia

    so my bf kissed me a long time ago and I got a cold sore it went away but now he has a cold sore again and I dont want to get another one… does that mean I cant kiss him untilit goes away? or since now the virus is permanently in me am I fine to kiss him?

  • DestinyAwaits

    I just made out with my bf yesterday and we French kissed. A day after I have been having this cold and im not sure if it is because our house is freezing or if I got herpes. We have kissed before but made no contact with saliva and this time we did and im soooo scared. Right now I am crying and freaked out! Please help me!

  • Holly

    My bf has oral herpes and is so scared of giving it to me because when he came down with it he all most died and was put on a morphine how do i reassure him i will be fine?

    • John

      No either you get it or you dont

    • ICantBelieve

      How on Earth would he almaost die from oral herpes? Be put on morphine??? Your BF is either making fun of you or he is the dumpest person alive!! He got into a car accident, was taken to the hospital, got morphine to ease the pain and thought it was because of the oral herpes? That is the closest his dump assumption would come from being true.

      I can´t stop laughing!! What happened to our education system???

      • lulu bean

        look who’s talking, you can’t even spell dumb

  • I’m Fugged

    I am super high and I’m fucking terrified I think I have oral herpes but I’ve never gone down on a girl (or guy!), I mean I’ve had girls give me oral before many times. So the facts are: I’m 17, I’ve been intimate with 3 girls over about a year and am curently active with my 17 yr old girlfriend. I haven’t seen any blisters or cold sores on her or any of the other girls.

    • tatiana

      I mean sweetie my best advice is to get checked at a clinic if you think you have it and dont be scared to ask questions you might feel alone and scared about that but its probably all in your mind set sometimes us as humans stress too much on our healths that it makes us trip.out so if you are that concerned then go to a hospital or something and be careful because in this life no ones perfect though there are lots of illnesses out there just get checked if anything i mean im 17 and im always tripping on my health so.its normal

    • Cleomar

      tell her that when she meets some one she has to let them know before they sleep tghstoerehe has to be up front she might have trouble meeting some one but if she is cute she probably won’t have a problem meeting any one .if she is 20 she is probably a beautiful lady but remember to tell her she must be up front with every guy she meets before they have sex about what she has because she is a carrier now .

  • majenta

    i always get cold sores its a pain in the ass . i dont even know if i can ever make out or kiss without passing the virus, i drink alot of water and always use a medicated chapstick with spf and i also take a vitamin everyday called l-lysine its helped i havent got one in 6 months . but the best thing to do is go to the docter and ask for a medication . thanks <3 1D

  • me

    i had a cold sore 7 day ago and i had oral sex today but my lip was heal can he get it still?

    • Mike

      There is a small percentage of people who shed the virus non stop without having an outbreak. It is rare but can happen.

  • Libby

    I have a cold sore from my lip up to my nose, it is blistery and hurts, is this oral herpes? What does it mean if I have it? That I can’t kiss anyone? I’m afraid my boyfriend gave it to me, but he didn’t have a cold sore when we last kissed, though got one a week later. How do I make this thing go away?! 🙁

  • Storm

    I recently spoke to someone that thinks he has herpes. He told me a lot such has having oral sex with someone that has herpes. I’m sort of freaking out because while I’m talking to him, I’m afraid I caught the disease since I have pimples.

  • Anonymous

    what do herpes look like i might have them it ichy but i am still a virgen !!!!!!

    • keke

      you are a virgen so you might not have herpes but if you do just use a strong cream and it will go away

      • Lisa smith

        That’s a lie herpes never go away but u can keep it under control by having fewer outbreaks by using prescriptions

  • stephanie

    my boyfriend had a coldsore on his lip and we had oral sex, now i have sores on my vagina. Is it genital herpes or just oral herpes? and how can i stop the pain?

  • FreakingOut

    someone i was with told me that they are a carrier of it with no symptoms…we’re just talking, and he’s like, ‘i’ve prob already given u herpes.’ i’m freaking out, and he says its no big deal, a lot of ppl have it, the whole thing. now i’m still freaking out that i might have it, and i’m acting like i have a flesh eating disease and avoiding any kind of contact with ppl… a little help? do i need to make sure not to share a fork or drink with someone for the rest of my life??

    • Andi Jane


      Stop freaking out! I’ve been through 2 herpes scares now, because of similar situations, where I was TOLD that I have herpes because of someone I kissed/slept with. Well, freaking out for a day or two is natural, but once you’ve gotten it out of your system, take a step back and look at the big picture. First, get tested. If you show no symptoms, it will be a blood test. Ask your doctor what your chances are for getting the virus based on what you know. And THEN, if you have it, know that most of the U.S. has the virus, and that it’s not too hard to deal with. (When I thought I had it the first time, my friend softened the blow by telling me she had genital herpes, and then listed off a bunch of my friends who also have it. Wow!) You just have to be sure you use protection and are careful during breakouts. That’s all. You can still have a perfectly normal sex life/kissing life, etc. It is HIGHLY unlikely that you will spread it when you don’t have a sore. But getting tested will make you feel so much better!

      Andi Jane

  • Alexandra

    I shared some cigarettes with a friend who has oral herpes last night. Is there a possibility I contracted herpes from her? From the little research I did it seems unlikely, but I still want to ask.

  • cindy lee

    I found out last year with some testing done that I have herpes 1 and have not had any outbreaks of any sort but am on doctor prescribed meds to take on a daily basis for probably the rest of my life. A friend and I were having intimate relations and he found an older bottle of my prescription and is concerned I transmitted it to him,but I am not experiencing any symptoms–Can he be infected,and when should he see a doctor to be tested?

  • Cece

    I recently tested positive for oral herpes and negative for genital herpes. Is there anything more dangerous about oral herpes then genital herpes?

  • Stephanie

    Ive been getting cold sores since the age of 11
    I didn’t become sexually active until the age of 15
    Right now I’m 20 & I still get them around my lip area
    It’s so annoying cus everyone is so immature about it, they say oh u got herpes, u having sex wit dirty ppl, etc;
    I feel like slapping immature people that act as it the world is black and white -_-

    • keke

      ignore those people they dont know half the stuff they be saying

  • Jennifer

    I have oral herpes and I wanted to know what are some disadvantages of having it . Like even though cold sores are not on my lips currently and i kiss someone with they get it too ?

  • Kaila

    I’m afraid I might have oral 🙁 I think I have a cold sore right now but I’m not sure. I’ve only been active like that with my current boyfriend of a year & only recently, but I HAVE shared glasses, lip gloss, etc for years so it could be from anything to me, really.
    But this article gives me a little hope;
    if I do have it, living with oral won’t be as horrible as I thought.
    I may not even have it & if not, now I know to be more careful.

  • NocturnalMistress

    I’ve been getting cold sores for as long as I can remember. I remember getting cold sores as early as 7 years old. I believe mine are from sharing drinking glasses as a child. My brother and I both get cold sores and so does my Mother so I think we got it from her.

    It’s embarrassing and a hard thing to deal with, especially if you’re like me and have had multiple cold sores at a time. It makes going out in Public and doing many daily rituals hard as hell. So about 4-6 months ago I began taking this supplement called Lysine. The pills are at any Pharmacy and are inexpensive and I haven’t had a SINGLE cold sore since I began taking the Lysine. I deal with a lot of stress and most of my cold sores pop up when I am under extreme stress. I haven’t had a single one since purchasing the Lysine tablets so if anyone is like me and gets cold sores, I recommend Lysine!

  • Lavender Kelley

    Try teatree oil on the blister as soon as it starts at speed healing and keep the skin from cracking and scaring.