In some people, the virus that causes cold sores can cause problems in other areas of the body, including:

  • Fingertip. Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be spread to the fingers. Children who suck their thumbs may transfer the infection from their mouths to their thumbs.
  • Eyes. The virus can sometimes cause pinkeye (conjunctivitis). If ulcers develop on the eye itself, it can result in vision problems and even blindness.
  • Widespread areas of skin. People who have a skin condition called eczema are at higher risk of cold sores spreading all across their bodies. This can become a medical emergency.
  • Other organs. In people with weakened immune systems, the virus can also affect organs such as the lungs, liver and brain.
May. 23, 2012