This is probably one the the many threads from people who are worried about having contracted herpes, so I hope you'll bear with me...
A few days ago I noticed a small painful red spot at the edge of my lip. I have never had a cold sore ever before, but I'm worried that this might be one. (My mother has had cold sores since before I was born) Twelve hours after first noticing it I started applying Zovirax, just to be sure. Over the last few days nothing has really changed: it's still just a small painful red spot. According to the Zovirax info leaflet it should have turned into a blister after 12-24 hours, but this hasn't happened. Could this be because of the Zovirax? How can I be sure if it's a cold sore? Should there be scabs later on? Or can it just disappear without scabbing, because of the Zovirax?
And how contagious is herpes? Can you only pass it on if you actually have a cold sore, or also when it's dormant? I've been extremely careful to not touch the red spot, to make sure I don't infect my eyes or my genitals. And I also refrain from kissing my boyfriend. However, only a few hours before noticing the spot I had sex with my boyfriend, and I fear he could have infected my genitals by first kissing me and then (briefly) giving me oral sex.
The thing is, I also suffer from some acne, and sometimes when a zit is developing deep down in the skin, it can be red and painful too, especially around the lips. I think I'll have a bloodtest to check for herpes, but in the meantime: how can I know if it's a cold sore? Any tips? Is the first outbreak of herpes different from the ones after that?
I've read a number of threads about herpes, and I'm getting worried... Even if this red bump isn't a cold sore, I think I'll still have a blood test for herpes and ask my boyfriend to have one too. I mean, I could have been infected ages ago, and had mild symptoms without even knowing it. Do bloodtests give accurate results?
I get cold sores all the time. My very first one was so bad I looked like a character from the Simpsons. They are painful, so that sounds about right. I would think though that it would get larger and eventually turn into a scab. My feeling on topical treatments is they don't really work well. When I feel one coming on I take Valtrex right away, and that usually tones it down. I have mistaken a zit for a cold sore. Cold sores can be kind of moody, so I woudln't assume you don't have one. You are right to be careful about oral sex because you can transmit them that way. I have a family member who has genital herpies because of cold sore contact. I'd get it checked out.
The red bump is not red anymore, and not painful anymore. No scabs. (The skin does seem so be somewhat less soft than the skin around it, like a thin layer of dead dry skin on it) Can treatment cause cold sores to simply disappear without scabs? After finding out my Zovirax was way past the use-by date, I switched to tea tree oil. Apparently that helped, but it could still be a zit (the tea tree oil was prescribed for my acne).
Anybody else out there with answers to my questions?
Getting the bump checked out probably won't do much good: there isn't that much to see. It certainly doesn't look like the cold sores I've seen my mom have... I've heard they take swabs to check for herpes, but I don't really get how they can swab something that's dry. Is a bloodtest good? (my parents will be so ****** if I go to the doctor for this: 20 bucks just to get a red bump checked out that might as well be a zit...)
Herpes simplex doesn't always look like a blister. It can appear to be like a zit. However I can say that all the cold sores I have had have appeared yellowish (more like a blister) after a time (although some were very small). As the appearance of sores varies so much it isn't always possible to tell from looking whether something is herpes or not. Sometimes people have the classic "cold sore", sometimes people have red spots around the mouth.
You asked what might be signs of herpes. Although none of these are conclusive or totally indicative of herpes, in general:
- herpes can be (not always) very painful. I know that if I apply a bit of pressure to one of my cold sores, it hurts a lot more than any zit ever did!
- herpes sometimes (not always) appears in the exact same place as last time. A recurrent small spot could point to herpes.
- herpes is often preceded by itching or tingling. I have found the sensation before I get a cold sore to be the ITCHIEST THING EVER - kind of like an itchy burn - way above normal irritation.
- duration - many people's spots clear up after a few days. Herpes can last a short time but can go on for up to 10 days (i.e. longer than most people's zits).
- blister appearance: as I say, yellowish pus rather than a red spot might indicate herpes, although red spots are certainly possible.
- scabbing over. Herpes sores on the mouth often (not always) scab over as part of the healing process.
Can herpes inside the mouth look like something other than a bump? I just noticed over the weekend a fleshy patch of loose appearing film/skin on the inside of my mouth (between my bottom jaw and cheek). I rubbed it with a qtip and it pulled loose easily. There's no redness or pain, but the loose patchy "skin" is forming again. I don't have tingling in or around my mouth, but herpes is so elusive...i was wondering if anyone else has experienced this?
(I've never had a "cold sore" that i'm aware of only type 2 gh)
man thats the same thing im going through i know herpes is on the lips and other stuff but im not sure if you can develop what your talking about in your mouth ive had braces before and the doc left the wires too long which felt like what your talking about