Who gets cold sores?

I have never had a cold sore before, but yesterday I woke up with a bunch of the little preliminary bumps. My father says they are genetic and keeps apologizing profusely, saying that they will now happen periodically for the rest of my life, and that the first case is always really bad…is there ANYTHING I can do to speed up the whole deal, or make them go away? Does anyone here have some experience with them they could share for my benefit? Thank you…!

“Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” --1984

You’ve come to the right place. I am the cold sore queen. It pisses me off as I am otherwise very healthy, but I’m always getting the damned things. So far, the best defense I’ve found is acne cream. This is difficult to use if the cold sore is directly on your lip, but most of mine tend to be part on the lip and part on the skin. Put on a massive glob of zit cream at night. This seems to dry up all the oil. I’ve tried the cold sore gunk they sell at the pharmacy, but I think the acne cream works better.
Good luck.

“I think it would be a great idea” Mohandas Ghandi’s answer when asked what he thought of Western civilization

I’ve never gotten a cold sore OUTSIDE my mouth, but used to frequently get the kind inside my mouth [are those called canker sores? i hate the word ‘canker’.]

anyway, as a teenager i wore braces and got quite a few. my mom always had me take Lysine [i think that’s the name of it] as soon as i felt one coming on and that usually cleared it right up. there are also homeopathic and herbal remedies for cold sores, though i don’t have that information in front of me.

good luck with the little critters!


Just to let all you cold sore sufferees know, I’ve never had a cold sore in my life… NEVER!

But if you want to chat about hay fever, then I can bitch and moan for hours.

“I’m not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.”-- Calvin and Hobbes
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I am not a doctor, I repeat-
I am not a doctor-
But, I’ve seen a doctor for cold sores, and it is actually a form of herpes. When I feel them coming I take some Zovirax and it heads them off. I haven’t had one in ages now. Just FYI!
Zette (now improved! Herpes free!)

An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; A pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.

Ahh, hate the damn things!! Herpes Simplex I is a virus, related to chicken pox and shingles. It’s very common and lots of folks suffer from it. The virus enters through broken skin and hides out along a nerve, where it stays for the rest of your life. You’ll get outbreaks now and then, usually in response to specific stressors (like too much sun, or high fever), and you may eventually be able to figure out what those stressors are, and help prevent outbreaks. I’ve found, for me, they last 10 days, start to finish, regardless of what I do or what new magic potion I put on them. Lucky has the right idea - during the “wet phase” (the runny blisters), the best treatment is to dry them out, and acne cream sounds like a good way to do that. Then when they’re dry, treat them like a scab and keep a bit of antibiotic ointment on to speed the healing. Good luck and remember you’re in good company!

“With enough courage, you can do without a reputation.” - Rhett Butler

I always thought canker sores and cold sores were different things?! I sometimes get a sore on the inside of my mouth, but only in places where I’ve accidentally bitten myself (usually inside my cheek). They’re sort of red and oozy and gross. They always clear up in a few days, usually with a little Anbesol or Ora-Gel. They’re like the sores that OfficeGirl describes. I never get them outside my mouth or on my lips. I always assumed that these were canker sores.

My husband (a psychiatrist, so not quite the right kind of doctor for this question) says that cold sores and canker sores are the same thing.

The Cat In The Hat

They are different things. I, too, get cold sores, although I’ve only had one in the past 5 years or so. Go to the doctor and get it examined. They can give you drugs that make them go away faster. Acyclovir comes in pill and cream form, and while the pills work faster and can actually stop it from coming out altogether if you catch it in time, the cream just makes your lips feel better. I hate the things…they’re incredibly painful.

Canker sores are just as you said…on the inside of the mouth, and usually they pop up in a place where you’ve gotten a cut.

Good point that the Herpes Simplex virus is related to Chicken Pox and Shingles. I first started having cold sore touble after I had an outbreak of shingles. You want pain? Try 'em. Yow- unbelievable. Fortunately, none of these Herpes viruses have migrated “south” :slight_smile:

An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; A pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.

I get these nasty sores also. I get them very frequently. I get them mostly when I’m under a lot of stress at work or if I have been exposed to a lot of sun. The best medicine I have found that works best on me is actually like a chapstick, it’s called HERPERCIN. You can pick it up at any grocery store in the medicine isle where the chapsticks are. Also when you feel the blister coming hold an ice cube on it. I find that helps also. The medicine that the doctor recommends is very expensive. For a girl it’s pretty easy to try and cover them up. I usually put a little foundation on it with lipstick and you can’t really see it. For you guys, well tough luck to you. They are a nuance and I sympathize with anyone that gets them.

People will forget what you say.
People will forget what you do…but
People will never forget how you make them feel.

I had one last winter, the first one in many years. They’re itchy and they put a damper on the sex life! ::grumble:: :wink:

I prefer rogues to imbeciles because they sometimes take a rest.
Alexandre Dumas the Younger (1824-1895)

Girls can cover them up? You must not have them all that bad. When I get mine, my lower lip swells up and I start looking like Daffy Duck. No amount of foundation and lipstick is going to fix that.

Ouch! I just got one this week…what a nuisance! I usually get them when I haven’t had enough sleep or am stressed out, which describes the past 10 weeks.

I usually clean open ones with peroxide and the Betadine (10% povidone-iodine). It seems to dry it up quicker.


If you’re not part of the solution you’re just scumming up the bottom of the beaker.

Well, I am taking the Lysine now and using Campho-phenique/carmex…They seem to be slightly receding, so maybe if I’m lucky they won’t open up at all! I’m probably jinxing myself…but thanks everyone! And good luck with your own!

“Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” --1984

I read somewhere that around 95% of us have herpes type 1, 40% type two in our body.

Comes up during stress. Stress is not nice for beauty.

Those things are type one herpes but its much prettier to not use that word when talking about it, right?

handy, I think I heard those statistics once on Dr. Dean Odell. Herpes is a major epidemic, but at least it’s not a terribly fatal one.

I’ve been troubled with canker sores in my mouth ever since I can remember and about 6 or 7 years ago finally asked a dentist about them. He just took one look and said, “Looks like a herpes simplex virus.” They usually are worst when I’ve bitten or otherwise injured the inside of my mouth, but now you could say that under the conditions the mouth is stressed, couldn’t you? Oh well, maybe not :slight_smile:

“I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it,” Jack Handy

Gr8, sure. I know some nurses they say that when people are in the hospital, their herpes flares up astronomically. Stress.

Anyway, so thats what those little bumps are in my mouth? I always wondered. Haven’t felt any for sometime though. I think my body has traded those for something else.

Lysine worked wonders…they left without a trace! And good riddance.

“Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” --1984

My poor daughter used to get HUGE nasty ones. Zinc cream is very effective.

I don’t get (external) cold sores. I get (internal) canker (chancre? can’t remember the real spelling) sores. Apparently, the internal ones come in several grades, of which I have the mildest grade, which makes the prospect of the other kinds absolutely horrifying.

Canker sores are also called mouth ulcers, and they are an autoimmune problem. Apparently, a lot of confusion is caused by the middle grade of canker sores being called “herpiform ulcers”, leading a lot of people to believe the were somehow related to(not just remeniscent of) herpes. They aren’t.

Since I started taking folic acid, my ulcer problem is much better. Folic acid folic acid!. I don’t think it works for cold sores, though.