I find it really sad that there is such a stigma associated with cold sores. One of my worst memories of an outbreak was in junior high during a biology class. I always read ahead of class and was dreading this day as I knew it was coming. This was probably the reason I had such a bad outbreak. We sat down and our teacher instructed us to open our textbooks and announced we would be discussing sexually transmitted diseases. Herpes came up, and with that HSV. When everyone clicked there was shuffling and silence. Everyone had turned towards me and was looking in disgust at my cold sores. I never hated cold sores so much as in that moment!
Anyways, let me get to the point of this post. What is the difference between asymptomatic and symptomatic? Those who suffer from visible outbreaks on their lips are unfortunately symptomatic to HSV-1 and in some cases HSV-2. Those that do not show any signs of an outbreak are called asymptomatic. But what am I getting at? People can be infected with the virus and still go through the shedding phase whilst not showing any symptoms! The virus can be passed on without the unsightly festering cold sore.
The virus can be passed on without the unsightly festering cold sore.
It is estimated that over 80% of the population, which is probably a lot higher are infected with the virus. They just don't know it. I really wish my teacher mentioned this in class, it would have been a lot less painful! So if you are feeling down because of your cold sores, just remember our bodies are more reactive to the virus. I wonder if there is a correlation to an overactive immune system (people that suffer from autoimmune diseases like asthma, allergies, vitiligo etc...) and weather you are asymptomatic or not. That would be an interesting study.