Friday, August 25, 2017

Question From Our Member - Difference Between A Canker Sore And A Cold Sore?

Questions From Our Members

E. Donaldson of Portland, Oregon asks: 

“What is the difference between a canker sore and a cold sore?”

Savon’s Answer

Let me preface this answer by saying that this is not medical advice and I am not a doctor.

1Cold Sores;  also called fever blisters are a common viral infection.  They are tiny, fluid-filled blisters on and around your lips.  These blisters are often grouped together in patches.  After the blisters break, a crust forms over the resulting sore.  Cold sores usually heal in two to four weeks without leaving a scar.

Cold sores spread from person to person by close contact, such as kissing.  They're caused by a herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) closely related to the one that causes genital herpes (HSV-2).  Both of these viruses can affect your mouth or genitals and can be spread by oral sex.  Cold sores are contagious even if you don't see the sores.

There's no cure for HSV infection, and the blisters may return.  Antiviral medications can help cold sores heal more quickly and may reduce how often they return.

2Canker Sores;  also called aphthous ulcers, are small, shallow lesions that develop on the soft tissues in your mouth or at the base of your gums.  Unlike cold sores, canker sores don't occur on the surface of your lips and they aren't contagious.  They can be painful, however, and can make eating and talking difficult.

Most canker sores go away on their own in a week or two.  Check with your doctor or dentist if you have unusually large or painful canker sores or canker sores that don't seem to heal.

1Where we got our information on Cold Sores   2Where we got our information on Canker Sores

Original post can be found on our September 2017 Newsletter!

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