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Doctor insights on: Do Cold Sores Have Whiteheads

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Do cold sores have whiteheads?

Do cold sores have whiteheads?

No: Apthous ulcers (cold sores) are usually shallow, ulcerative with a crater in the center, and painful. Generally do not have a white pustule in the center. Read more

Dr. Heidi Fowler
1,043 Doctors shared insights

Cold Sore (Definition)

Also referred to as fever blisters, cold sores are small, painful fluid-filled blisters that are usually found around the lips. Cold sores are very contagious and can be spread by mouth to mouth contact and can spread to the genitalia and cause genital ...Read more


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Can cold sores appear white in colour? Like a whitehead? No tingle, no blister. Feels like canker sore or bitten lip. Not sure how to tell...

Can cold sores appear white in colour? Like a whitehead? No tingle, no blister. Feels like canker sore or bitten lip. Not sure how to tell...

White is Good: When a canker sore or "aphthous ulcer" is in the process of healing it turns a whitish color. You are on the mend. Leave it alone, don't pop it! Maybe some salt water or baking soda gargles...If you want to feel better but actually, nothing is shown to significantly speed up healing once it gets to this stage. You're in the home stretch....1-2 weeks more and you'll be able to suck lemons again. Read more

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What's the difference to a pimple and herpes on your genitals? I have a whitehead down there but I also have a cold sore, do I have genital herpes?

What's the difference to a pimple and herpes on your genitals? I have a whitehead down there but I also have a cold sore, do I have genital herpes?

Could be either.: Genital herpes typically consists of one or more painful group (s) of blisters on a red base. Sometimes the blisters look like "whiteheads". The only way to know for sure is to have a culture done by your doctor or a dermatologist. Read more

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A red bump appeared on the corner of my lip. The next day, the whitehead appeared, when popped the pus came out. Is this a cold sore or pimple?

A red bump appeared on the corner of my lip. The next day, the whitehead appeared, when popped the pus came out. Is this a cold sore or pimple?

Pimple most likely: From the description this sounds more like a pimple as it built up over time and came to a whitehead before it drained. Cold sores are usually more flat and shallow, moist looking and sting quite a bit. Either way, touch it up with a little Neosporin and avoid sharing kisses with anyone until it heals. See your MD to confirm the diagnosis. Read more

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Can a cold sore look like a pimple on inner lip? Can they have a whitehead and pop like a pimple? No burning, itching or blister. Pimple or cold sore?

Can a cold sore look like a pimple on inner lip? Can they have a whitehead and pop like a pimple? No burning, itching or blister. Pimple or cold sore?

Inner lip: Is usually herpes. Acne occurs in areas where you have sebaceous glands which are not located on mucosal surfaces like the lips. Read more

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Bump on border of upper lip. Have acne, oily skin, never cold sore b4.didnt notice tingling b4 it appeared. Popped it cuz there was a whitehead. Is pimple?

Bump on border of upper lip. Have acne, oily skin, never cold sore b4.didnt notice tingling b4 it appeared. Popped it cuz there was a whitehead. Is pimple?

Maybe: There are oil glands on the edges of the lips. That means one can get plugged oil glands and occasionally a pimple there. Plugged oil glands may come 1-3 at a time. After the stuff comes out, it should heal up fine. Herpes cold sores are often a cluster of 3-10 tiny bumps, and don't contain pus or oil. Cold sores break easily, can ooze a bit, as if the surface got scraped away, and they crust up. Read more

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What is the difference between cold sores and acne?

What is the difference between cold sores and acne?

See below: Cold sores are lesions that occur on the lips caused by herpes simplex virus reactivation. Acne is a skin condition with inflammation of the skin glands and hair follicles causing pimples primarily on the face. There is no relation between the two. Read more

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Gave oral sex to my bf, I had what I thought was a pimple, now I think it's a cold sore. I've never had one so idk if it is one, will he get sores now?

Gave oral sex to my bf, I had what I thought was a pimple, now I think it's a cold sore. I've never had one so idk if it is one, will he get sores now?

One thing to know: Whether or not and how people can get infected with the HSV-1 or HSV-2 is extremely open to speculation. A woman needs to know that the one time she does not want to have a genital herpes outbreak is when she gives birth. If a woman suspects she could have genital herpes, even though she never had an outbreak, ask the provider at the time of delivery to do a thorough exam. She may need a c/section Read more

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Can my adult acne be shingles? I get cold sores a lot too

Can my adult acne be shingles? I get cold sores a lot too

Unlikely: First of all, shingles is usually on the torso, not the face. It's also localized to a specific strip of skin (dermatome). Shingles involve a lot of pain as well, so unless your really hurting, it's not shingles. The virus that causes cold sores and shingles are similar, but they aren't exactly the same. Hope that helps! Read more

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43-yr old female. Could increased acne, cold sores and uti's be connected? Immune system? Diet? I'm falling apart!

43-yr old female. Could increased acne, cold sores and uti's be connected? Immune system? Diet? I'm falling apart!

Falling apart: Many possibilities. Get blood sugar and hormones evaluated. Are you on any meds or dietary supplements? See a doc and have comprehensive evaluation. Read more

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If cold sores can be popped-whitish fluid-can they bleed after popping-like a pimple would-or is this more typical of a pimple? Unsure if HSV or zit

If cold sores can be popped-whitish fluid-can they bleed after popping-like a pimple would-or is this more typical of a pimple? Unsure if HSV or zit

Yes: Any open sore can bleed in the end with pressure as there are some blood vessels there. We don't recommend you popping them as this may cause risk of infection in an open sore. Read more

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Really bad acne won't stop producing, leaving red sores, never had a cold sore, and its even on my hair line?

Really bad acne won't stop producing, leaving red sores, never had a cold sore, and its even on my hair line?

A dermatologist: Is the type of doc that would be most helpful to you. You can start w/family doc and he/she can refer if they think it's necessary. Peace and good health. Read more

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Dr. Marsha Davis
1,671 Doctors shared insights

Facial Pimples (Definition)

A pimple is a small inflamed spot on the skin. Also known as zit, ...Read more


Dr. Andrew Seibert
88 Doctors shared insights

Whiteheads (Definition)

Whiteheads = closed comedon (containing oil, bacteria, skin debris) which is ...Read more