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    Suggest treatment for cold sores on the lips

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Posted on Mon, 14 Aug 2017 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: What is this on my lip
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 40 minutes later
Brief Answer:
May be oral herpes

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

I looked at the picture, and it looks like it may be oral herpes (cold sore). If it is a cluster of tiny blisters, and is tender or stings, that is the most likely cause. It can be other things too, if you have any risks for STDs, but a cluster of little blisters is characteristic for herpes.

The majority of people are infected by herpes by the time they are young adults. Not everyone gets outbreaks of it. Some people get recurrent outbreaks particularly during times of physical or emotional stress.

If your immune system is otherwise normal, there is no need for special treatment as long as it isn't interfering with eating or other activities. It will resolve and heal up without scarring in 2-3 weeks (but will likely feel better before that).

Most cases of herpes on the mouth are from HSV-1 and most cases of genital herpes are from HSV-2, but although they are separate viruses, there is cross over, and one can cause the other. Be careful to avoid kissing and other contact until it heals up (you probably won't want to anyway). It is not dangerous except if you are around someone who is significantly immunocompromised such as somone who is receiving chemotherapy or who has AIDs.

Try not to touch it, and if you do, wash your hands before and after.

If it isn't a cluster of little blisters, then do go in to see your doctor. Or, if you are very unwell, or having trouble eating, go in to be seen.

I'm sorry you are having this outbreak. Please let me know if I can provide further information.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3138 Questions

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