Cold sores are caused by a herpes virus. Herpes viruses (chickenpox is another kind) stay in the body after the first infection. Later, something that triggers the virus causes it to become active again. Cold sores may appear after colds, fevers, exposure to the sun, stressful times, or during menstruation. Sometimes, they appear for no apparent reason.

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Animated-Teeth.com
Information about cold sores, fever blisters, oral herpes, and their remedies.
CenterWatch: Cold Sores (Herpes Labialis Infections)
Listing of clinical research trials.
Cold Sores (Mouth Herpes)
Factsheet in question and answer format.
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Consumer health resource center providing information on causes, symptoms, and treatment.
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Fact sheet on symptoms, development, treatment and prevention of cold sores.
Herpes-Coldsores.Com
Find information about herpes and cold sores including signs and symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and how it is spread and prevention. Includes further resources and a message board.
MedicineNet: Herpes simplex Infections (Non-genital)
Information on cold sores and fever blisters including symptoms, transmittal, recurrence, diagnosis and treatment.
NetDoctor: Cold Sores
Factsheet on this common infection caused by the Herpes simplex virus, causes, symptoms, treatment and possible complications.
Patient UK: Cold Sores
Factsheet with details of causes, symptoms, self-care and treatment.
Wikipedia: Herpes labialis
Encyclopedia article on this infection of the lip and face by the Herpes simplex virus.
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