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

  • Fingertips. Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be spread to the fingers. This type of infection is often referred to as herpes whitlow. Children who suck their thumbs may transfer the infection from their mouths to their thumbs.
  • Eyes. The virus can sometimes cause eye infection. Repeated infections can cause scarring and injury, which may lead to vision problems or 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 spinal cord and brain.
May 15, 2015

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