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Cold sores are often referred to as fever blisters. They can be itchy, painful and can make you feel self-conscious, but luckily there are ways to prevent and treat them. About two-thirds of the population gets cold sores, although quite often they are dormant (meaning they are "asleep"). There are also many things that can trigger a cold sore, including sunlight, a fever, stress or even hormonal changes like getting your period. Cold sores are different for everyone. Doctors can help determine the severity of your cold sores and decide if treatment is needed, or if a referral to a specialist is required.