A woman inspects her lip for cold sores

First Aid Handbook: Cold Sores

Many people – both children and adults – experience sores or blisters in and around their mouth from time to time. Cold sores – also called fever blisters – are a common group of sores caused by the herpes simplex (HSV-1) virus. The tiny, fluid-filled blisters most frequently appear on or around the lips but may also occur inside the mouth or nose. They should not be confused with canker sores, which are not contagious.