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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
1,014 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 generally caused by the herpes simplex virus 1 which is related to herpes simplex virus 2 that causes genital herpes. Cold sores are very contagious and can be spread by mouth to mouth contact. They 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?

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Dr. Daniel Rubenstein
616 doctors shared insights

Canker Sores (Definition)

Almost everyone is infected with this herpes virus. The first episode is usualy in early childhood. It is dramaticaly different from all the later events. The virus is always present. When your immune system is weakened (stress, disease, almost anything) the viri end up stronger than your immune system. They do their job, and ...Read more