PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When people hear the term herpes they think about the sexually transmitted disease. Yes, herpes can affect the genital area and it is a major health issue. But herpes is also a major cause of cold sores which usually show up on the lips or the mouth as a cluster of blisters with a red base. They can be painful ad they also can feel itchy dry and crusty.

If the blisters come back another time they may cause a tingling feeling before they appear on the skin. Herpes can be spread by kissing or sharing utensils or towels.

An antiviral medication can be prescribed by your doctor and if given early enough in the first episode it can shorten its duration and help cut down on the number of repeat episodes.

Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor

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