Screening for Cold Sores (Herpes Simplex Type 1)
The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are usually given to people without current symptoms, but who may be at high risk for certain diseases.
There are no screening guidelines for cold sores.
A simple antibody blood test can show if you have been exposed to the herpes virus in the past. If you test positive, it means you could get a cold sore in the future. However, most people test positive for this virus. Therefore, this test is not very useful for screening purposes.
Last reviewedFebruary 2014by David L Horn, MD, FACP
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.