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Doctor insights on: My Cold Sore Is Healed But Left A Red Mark Am I Contagious

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Dr. Heidi Fowler
1,055 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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I get cold sores and this last one I had left a bright red spot on my lip. Like a scar. The cold sore is healed though. Will this scar go away?

I get cold sores and this last one I had left a bright red spot on my lip. Like a scar. The cold sore is healed though. Will this scar go away?

Yes, most likely: Most cold sores are pretty superficial and will leave a reddened area for a while which usually fades over months, not days. If the cold sore had a secondary infection or the scab was picked, it can injury the deeper layer of skin and cause it to scar. This generally doesn't happen ...Read more

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Had a cold sore beside the lips 2 months ago, ever since it healed there's been a red mark left over. Am I going to have this forever?

Had a cold sore beside the lips 2 months ago, ever since it healed there's been a red mark left over. Am I going to have this forever?

Early scar: The red spot may be an early scar. If the lesion wasn't too deep, the spot will probably fade but it will take 6-12 months. ...Read more

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I've read that a cold sore is contagious for up to 2 weeks once it's completely healed. Does "completely healed" include the redness that can linger?

WRONG: What you read is wrong. While cold sores are more contagious during an attack, the virus is also shed intermittently between attacks. Most transmission actually occurs when no sore is present. ...Read more

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2 month ago I got herpes cold sore on my lip 1 month ago it seemed to heal but redness remains & it has slowly better Am I still contagious? Can I kiss

2 month ago I got herpes cold sore on my lip 1 month ago it seemed to heal but redness remains & it has slowly better Am I still contagious? Can I kiss

OK to kiss: Slightly contagious when no sore is present. Relax. Most people already have it without any symptoms. So the person you kiss already has it or will get it anyway. Do not kiss kids with active eczema or people with diseases of disordered immunity. The color will soon be normal. Valacyclovir and acyclovir prescription pills are very effective to treat or prevent attacks. Attacks may come from sun ...Read more

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2 months ago I got herpes cold sore on my lip 1 month ago it seemed to heal but redness remains & has slowly bettered Am I still contagious? Can I kiss

2 months ago I got herpes cold sore on my lip 1 month ago it seemed to heal but redness remains & has slowly bettered Am I still contagious? Can I kiss

Yes: Most of these are HSV1 and most adults already have it without any symptoms. So whoever you kiss either already has it or will get it anyway. You shed viruses periodically so you might transmit it between attacks, though you are most contagious at the beginning of a sore. Fish oil is of absolutely no value for this. There is no "detox" of herpes. There is a prescription pill which is very effective. ...Read more

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I had a cold sore for three weeks and I don't know if it's healed yet. It's still a bit red but I'm thinking maybe it's just a scar. Is it contagious?

Not likely: If you had a cold sore and all that remains is some redness, it is probably the result of the inflammation remaining after the cold sore ran its course. If the little white or clear-looking bumps (called vesicles) have dried up and gone, the area is no longer contagious. The virus that causes the cold sore can certainly be spread to others when the vesicles are still present. ...Read more

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Cold sore: used 91% isopropyl alcohol. No longer oozing. Little redness. Dry. Little pain. No visible open sores. How contagious is this?

Consider yourself: Contagious until the sore is totally healed and the drug of choice to prevent or make cold sore heal faster is oral Valtrex (valacyclovir) or acyclovir. ...Read more

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I had a cold sore for about 2 weeks, & the scab fell off & now it's just red & shiny, can I pass it on still to my boyfriend? . Is it contagious?

I had a cold sore for about 2 weeks, & the scab fell off & now it's just red & shiny, can I pass it on still to my boyfriend? . Is it contagious?

You are less: Contagious but we now know that asymptomatic shedding can occur even when lesions are not present. So at this point you are less likely to pass the virus but there is still a small possibility, that is why the virus is so common and some people carry the virus but don't exhibit the lesions. Hope that helps ...Read more

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I have a small red spot under my lip how if anything can I tell it will be a cold sore. It doesn't hurt or tingle my dentist asked me I doubt it is?

Cold sores: Will go away in 7-10 days. This type of spot may show up from an injury to the area as well and sometimes you do not even know how it occurred. Watch it and see and if necessary consult your dentist again or your md if it last more than 7-10 days and shows no signs of improvement. ...Read more

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My 7 month old is teething & has had runny/stuffy nose for 2 days. Now woke up with a red spot on his lip. Is this a cold sore & how do I treat it?

My 7 month old is teething & has had runny/stuffy nose for 2 days. Now woke up with a red spot on his lip. Is this a cold sore & how do I treat it?

Not likely: Cold sores appear after a primary infection with herpesvirus. This doesn't usually occur until toddlerhood. And it's quite a production fever sores drooling irritability. This sounds completely different. Have the pediatrician look at it if it concerns you. ...Read more

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I have a red spot after having a cold sore on my lip. What is the best treatment to help the scar go away? Mederma?

Depends on where...: Hi there, to adequately answer your question I would need a couple more pieces of information. (1) where exactly is the red spot? By that I mean is it on the red smooth "inner" part of the lip or is it on skin on the "outer" part of the lip? (2) how long ago did the cold sore go away? Mederma can work if it is on the outside, but not inside the lip. ...Read more

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I had a cold sore which heal and now I have redness where the cold sore used to be, does this heal?

Cold sore erythema: Yes, it should heal just like when you cut yourself it scabs, then is red, and then the redness eventually fades ...Read more

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I got a cold sore over 10 days ago. It seems healed but there is still is a scar that is peeling a bit. Is it contagious at this stage? Can I kiss?

I got a cold sore over 10 days ago. It seems healed but there is still is a scar that is peeling a bit. Is it contagious at this stage? Can I kiss?

Probably safe but...: Once skin is intact, you're probably no longer infectious. But in case of contact with especially high risk, especially a newborn baby, maybe wait a few more days: better safe than sorry! It may take a couple months for the affected area to look entirely normal. In future, you can have much faster healing or even prevent full outbreak with single dose valacyclovir 2 g at first sign. ...Read more

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It started with a typical cold sore in my lips, it healed but now the skin around my lips and my chin are red (erythema). What do I do?

See dermatologist: Consult a dermatologist to see if you have an irritant dermatitis, viral infection, peri-oral dermatitis or other rash. Treatment will be based on the cause of the rash. If it is an eczematous dermatitis, it is often treated with a topical steroid. ...Read more

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My cold sore scab came off on its own over a few days. It left a red bump on my lip is this normal? Will it go away and what should I put on it?

Normal: This is normal Latoya. A good medication to keep on hand for cold sores is Zovirax (acyclovir) ointment. You will need to get it on prescription from your doctor. ...Read more

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Cold sore or zit? Started as red bump in corner of lips, tried to pop like zit (no white head), crust formed, traces left 2 weeks later

Cold sores: It is most likely a cold sores. If this is the first time you have it, most likely you have been exposed to somebody with it. It is caused by Herpes virus. Sometimes treatment is needed esp if it become recurrent. ...Read more

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My sister has lost her voice and her tonsils are swollen they are not red and the left one has a cold sore like sore on it and her throat hurts?

Probably viral: But it would not hurt at all to see a doctor and make sure this is not due to beta-strep. If that is present, antibiotics for 10 days will help to prevent post-streptococcal complications like acute rheumatic fever. This should be done immediately. ...Read more

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Cold sore scar is contagious?

Cold sores are: Reported to be contagious until the lesion actually heals over. ...Read more

Contagious (Definition)

One is able to transmit an infection to another by ...Read more