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What Are The Symptoms Of Cold Sore And Canker Sore?

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Posted on Wed, 17 Aug 2016
Question: hi doctor,

does cold sore generally occur on the lips, and not inside the lips?

and how would i know its a canker sore or cold sore?

i notice a bit of pain inside my upper lip. i flipped open to see. i do see a relatively small red spot. so far i put some salt. it feels better now.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
their appearance is different usually

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

cold sores start with the characteristic blisters. The blisters are filled with clear fluid, which becomes turbid and then the blisters rupture. The healing process starts thereafter. The most common location for cold sores is on the margin between the mucosal surface of the lips and the skin.

Canker sores are usually inside the lips or the mouth (you're right about that) and don't involve blistering. They usually look like white lesions on a red base. Cold sores are usually red. When the blisters rupture they may resemble canker sores but I've never confused a cold sore for a canker sore!

Both types will get better by themselves. Cold sore healing can be promoted with early application of antivirals (like acyclovir).

I hope it helps!
Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (3 hours later)
I do see a white centre...

Thanks Dr. Panagiotis
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
You're welcome!

Detailed Answer:
You're welcome! Glad to help!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (37 hours later)
Sorry Doctor so my canker sore is barely there now and it only took about 2 days to get rid of. on the first day i notice i gargolled salt water couple of times andapplied salt to the area. is it possible for canker sore to be gone so quickly? and if its a cold sore does applying salt makes it go away that quickly?

im just making sure it wasnt a cold sore....

thank you dr. panagiost
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
cold sores need more time

Detailed Answer:
Don't worry! Cold sores usually need more than a week for complete recovery and do have the characteristic sequence of events. First you may feel awkward on the affected area, then the blisters appear with clear fluid, then the fluid becomes turbid and then the blisters rupture and a red area remains. A crust forms and then slowly disappears as the area heals.

Kind regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3803 Questions

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What Are The Symptoms Of Cold Sore And Canker Sore?

Brief Answer: their appearance is different usually Detailed Answer: Hello, cold sores start with the characteristic blisters. The blisters are filled with clear fluid, which becomes turbid and then the blisters rupture. The healing process starts thereafter. The most common location for cold sores is on the margin between the mucosal surface of the lips and the skin. Canker sores are usually inside the lips or the mouth (you're right about that) and don't involve blistering. They usually look like white lesions on a red base. Cold sores are usually red. When the blisters rupture they may resemble canker sores but I've never confused a cold sore for a canker sore! Both types will get better by themselves. Cold sore healing can be promoted with early application of antivirals (like acyclovir). I hope it helps! Kind Regards!