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Herpes simplex is a common viral infection. If you’ve ever had a cold sore or fever blister, you picked up the herpes simplex virus. Most cold sores are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). The herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) can cause blisters and sores anywhere on the skin, but are seen most often around the mouth, nose, genitals, and buttocks. Herpes infections are often painful and can reappear periodically.
In most cases, people who get the herpes simplex type 1 virus do so as an infant or adult. This virus is spread by skin-to-skin contact with a person who carries the virus. Those that get the herpes simplex type 2 virus do so through sexual contact.