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Doctor insights on: What's The Difference Between Canker Sores And Cold Sores

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Difference between canker sores and cold sores?

Difference between canker sores and cold sores?

Location: People often use these terms interchangeably, though there are differences. Sores on the cheeks and under the tongue are usually canker sores. These are not infectious. Cold sores are usually on lips or on the roof of the mouth. These are contagious and are caused by a virus. They are both painful and heal with time. Medications and lasers can be used to shorten the healing time. ...Read more

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Dr. Heidi Fowler
1,039 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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Do canker sores turn into cold sores?

Do canker sores turn into cold sores?

No: Cold sores are caused by a virus, and canker sores are auto-immune (some suspect a bacterial or viral link, but that's not proven). In either case, one type of sore does not change into the other. ...Read more

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How are cold sores different from canker sores?

How are cold sores different from canker sores?

Many differences: Canker sores and cold sores are common disorders of the mouth, irritating millions of americans. Although many people use the terms canker sore and cold sore synonymously, they are different conditions. Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus and are contagious while canker sores cause is unclear and is not considered contagious. ...Read more

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Can anbesol cream (for canker sores) work on cold sores?

Be Careful: It is important to know that "cold sores" are caused by a virus called the Herpes virus. They are easily spread from one person to another. A canker sore, or Aphtous ulcer, is probably caused by an autoimmune reaction (the body fighting itself) Medicine for one of these is not intended for the other type of mouth sore. The anbesol cream is probably mostly for numbing the sore. ...Read more

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How are cold sores (herpes simplex) and canker sores different?

How are cold sores (herpes simplex) and canker sores different?

Canker vs Cold Sore: Here is a great comprehensive answer to your question: http://www.Uhs.Umich.Edu/coldcankersores. ...Read more

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Can canker sores - not cold sores - be popped? Can they appear on lip?

Can canker sores - not cold sores - be popped? Can they appear on lip?

Not on lips: A canker sore is painful sore or sores inside your mouth -- on the tongue, soft palate (the back portion of the roof of your mouth), or inside your cheeks and not on the lips. The cause of canker sores is unknown. If it is on your lips it may be a cold sore so i would not recommend popping it. ...Read more

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What are the symptoms of herpes/cold sores/canker sores on your lips/mouth?

What are the symptoms of herpes/cold sores/canker sores on your lips/mouth?

Two different things: Cankers (recurrent aphthous ulcers) are an "auto-immune" type reaction to trauma/stress (such as biting your lip). They occur on the loose membranes of your lips, cheeks and floor of the mouth. Your dentist can treat with prednisone, laser or chemicals to cut pain. Cold sores are hsv. Abreva helps those some, but most need doc rx. Both go away without treatment in 10-14 days (pain only 3-5 days). ...Read more

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Canker* sores, not cold sores (aka feverblisters)related to herpes simplex type 1, what to do?

Canker* sores, not cold sores (aka feverblisters)related to herpes simplex type 1, what to do?

Herpetic lesions: Canker sores of herpetic origin can be treated palliatively to give relief from the soreness. Abreva is an over-the counter topical gel/medication that you can purchase at your pharmacy that will reduce the length of time that the lesion is active. Your dentist or physician can also prescribe an anti-viral drug (ie. Acyclovir) that can also reduce the length of time and/or onset of appearance. ...Read more

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Can cold sores appear on the inside of the inner lip? Or are they canker sores?

Can cold sores appear on the inside of the inner lip? Or are they canker sores?

Possible\unlikely: It is very unusual but possible for cold sores caused by a virus to appear on the inside of the lip, and when they do, it is most common near the insider border of the lip. They appear more often in clusters and as a blister, unlike canker sores (aphthous ulcers) which occur only inside the mouth and usually as a single white ulcer surrounded by a red inflamed border. ...Read more

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I keep experiencing recurrent canker sores on my tounge, It only started since i stopped getting cold sores. I often get alot of mucus in my stool?

I keep experiencing recurrent canker sores on my tounge, It only started since i stopped getting cold sores. I often get alot of mucus in my stool?

Canker sores: is the most common oral lesions. Individual ulcers typically last 1-2 weeks. The Waterlase offers immediate relief from the pain of these sores. See a dentist for evaluation and treatment if needed. ...Read more

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The mouth sores associated with behçet's disease: where are they typically located, in mouth or lips?And are they like canker sores or cold sores?

The mouth sores associated with behçet's disease: where are they typically located, in mouth or lips?And are they like canker sores or cold sores?

Mouth sores: Painful mouth sores, that look similar to canker sores, are the most common sign of Behcet's disease. The management is to control temporary flares in pain and inflammation. The good news is you may not need to take medication between flares. Good luck. ...Read more

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Can it be that a cold sore causes someone to have swollen gums, canker sores, and causes tongue to have missing taste buds?

Can it be that a cold sore causes someone to have swollen gums, canker sores, and causes tongue to have missing taste buds?

Cold sores: What you describe is not just the cold sore causing other oral problems but a possible systemic infection sometimes strep throat can result in all these symptoms so please see your doctor to resolve the problem. ...Read more

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I have a painless 1cm red bump at the top of my lower lip. I've had canker sores before but never had a cold sore. However, I can't tell what this is.

I have a painless 1cm red bump at the top of my lower lip. I've had canker sores before but never had a cold sore. However, I can't tell what this is.

At the top of your l: Lip it's usually a canker sore. If you wish to have it looked at I could see you for a virtual concierge consult through healthtap for a more definitive diagnosis and treatment. During the virtual consult I may see pictures of your lip or a live webcam as well. Best wishes. ...Read more

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Follow up: dr. Raff -- you said that canker sores do not cause genital herpes. Are canker sores herpes simplex 1 just like a cold sore?

Follow up:  dr. Raff -- you said that canker sores do not cause genital herpes. Are canker sores herpes simplex 1 just like a cold sore?

Canker sores: Aphthous stomatitis is not due to herpes simplex. Dr. Namey and dr. Perkins have provided excellent advice and would read these carefully. The location of the herpetic lesions (oral v. Genital) no longer is specific for types 1;2. Cold sores may be herpetic, but not canker sores. ...Read more

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What could cause a sudden incidence of canker sores on the inside of mouth and lips? Theyre not cold sores and I haven't had sex recently to contract HIV or anything. I never get them now I have 4-5 sore persistent ones all at once. I also eat good.

What could cause a sudden incidence of canker sores on the inside of mouth and lips? Theyre not cold sores and I haven't had sex recently to contract HIV or anything. I never get them now I have 4-5 sore persistent ones all at once.  I also eat good.

No sure answer: There is no sure answer to this question. Stress has been associated with canker sores. Some have suspected that this may be from strep mutans- an organism found normally in the mouth and considered responsible for dental caries. Have you had your teeth cleaned at least twice yearly, flossed daily, and brushed thoroughly at least 2x daily? Good dental hygiene may help. ...Read more

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What is gingivostomatitis ? Is it herpes ? I have canker sores inside mouth ( not cold sores) few weeks ago I had swollen gums..and bump near anus .

What is gingivostomatitis ? Is it herpes ? I have canker sores inside mouth ( not cold sores) few weeks ago I had swollen gums..and bump near anus .

Be patient: Herpetic gingivostomatitis is a combination of gingivitis and stomatitis and is a common infection of the mouth and gums. Although a self-limiting disease, this oral infection can cause significant mouth discomfort and frustration. The sores usually disappear within two to three weeks, regardless of whether they are treated or not. ...Read more

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Initially I was told I have canker sores ulcers now tongue lesions and doctor says cold sores hsv1 I'm not homosexual or perform oral sex on anyone ?

Initially I was told I have canker sores ulcers now tongue lesions and doctor says cold sores hsv1 I'm not homosexual or perform oral sex on anyone ?

Herpes simplex: Over 85% of the population has been infected with HSV and can reactivate at any time. Do not know if that is what you actually have, but if you have no risk factors (unprotected sex, sharing needles, etc.) HIV and other STDs should not be a concern. ...Read more

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Are canker sores inside mouth (gums, inner cheek) a form of HSV 1? Never had any blister-like cold sores outside on/around lips.

Are canker sores inside mouth (gums, inner cheek) a form of HSV 1? Never had any blister-like cold sores outside on/around lips.

Canker sores?: Canker sores are ulcers of unknown origin. They may result from stress, citrus foods, irritation or trauma. They usually occur on the inside of the mouth and the tongue. Aphthous stomatitis (cold sores or fever blisters) are caused by the hsv-1 virus. They usually occur in clusters on the outside of the lips. Check with your dentist for a definitive diagnosis and treatment for pain. ...Read more

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Suddenly: canker sores,recurrent cold sores, yeast infections w/ any sexual contact,blepharitis & had vaginal streptococcus. Underlying immune issue?

Suddenly: canker sores,recurrent cold sores, yeast infections w/ any sexual contact,blepharitis &  had vaginal streptococcus. Underlying immune issue?

Yes: A family doc or infectious disease doctor could run a panel of tests to check it. I am not sure medical science is advanced enough to do anything about it. IVIG infusions are sometimes effective in patients with low globulins, but is terribly expensive, not covered by most insurance AND exposes you to the mercies of possible unknown blood born pathogens. Worth getting it checked if getting worse. ...Read more

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What s the difference between a cold sore and canker sore?

What s the difference between a cold sore and canker sore?

Very different: Cold sores are typically lesions on the lip that stem from infections with herpes viruses (nongenital or genital strains). Canker sores are formally known as aphthous ulcers and occur within the mouth. It's not totally clear why, but probably immune and environmental factors are at play. ...Read more

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What's the difference between a cold sore and a canker sore?

What's the difference between a cold sore and a canker sore?

Cold vs canker sores: Cold sore are fluid filled blisters that frequently occur around the mouth and lips. They are caused be herpes simplex virus and are highly contagious. This virus is always with you and things like stress can cause an outbreak. Canker sores are ulcerations inside your mouth on the soft tissues like the buccal mucosa, cheek, soft palate. They can be very painful, heal in 10 days, unknown cause ...Read more

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Dr. Daniel Rubenstein
628 doctors shared insights

Canker Sores (Definition)

A very common herpes virus ...Read more