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Old 12-01-2007, 08:35 PM   #1
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catharine101 HB User
Cold sore vs canker sore vs fever blister... anyone??

Ok -

So, I'm well aware that oral herpes is usally defined as cold sores or fever blisters, and that canker sores are something else. Cold sores are pretty obvious in their description - we all know what they look like. And I've previously described canker sores to others on this site as usually the result of friction (from braces) or an irritation from super spicy food or something. The canker sores usually look like white areas of skin on the inside of your lip - sort of like an empty blister as they don't have any fluid in them.

But I"m confused about fever blisters. What exactly is a fever blister?? Are they inside your mouth or outside and what do they look like??

I'm especially interested right now, because I'm starting to feel as though I may have contracted oral herpes as well. I've been feeling that sort of tingling sort of burning feeling on my upper lip over the last month or so. But thought I was just paranoid because of the GH. Also, I don't get any tingly feelings genitally, so not sure if it was prodromic or not as I've nothing to relate too. But now I have what I would previously have referred to as a canker sore. It's actually the third one I've had in about 4 months. Which makes me start to think maybe it's not a canker sore like it appears. Maybe it's a fever blister??

So all... what is a fever blister?? Or, if we can't agree on that, what does oral herpes look like inside the mouth, as opposed to cold sores on the outside.

And yes, I will see my doctor this week to have him swab it!! (If it doesn't disappear by the time I get there...)

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Old 12-01-2007, 08:48 PM   #2
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catharine101 HB User
Re: Cold sore vs canker sore vs fever blister... anyone??

Well, I'll start answering my own question, if anyone else is interested!! Maybe someone has some further input too...

I just found a website that indicates that fever blisters and cold sores are the SAME THING, just different name. And that canker sores are different. Essentially, boils down to, if you get a herpes outbreak inside the mouth, it's mainly on the roof of the mouth or the gums, and the sores are generally smaller than canker sores.

Canker sores are more likely to occur on the inside of the lips and cheeks, and the tongue. Usually quite small, but can be up to an inch.

Canker sores are not caused by a virus or bacteria, but MAY be due to deficiency in diet or allergies.

If anyone's interested... I think I have canker sores, not oral herpes (genital is enough, thank you very much!!). My diet sucks anyway, maybe I'll try to eat better!! (But Christmas is coming!!)

Old 12-01-2007, 09:11 PM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: San Jose, CA, USA
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jeff666 HB User
Re: Cold sore vs canker sore vs fever blister... anyone??

I don't think fever blisters/cold sores happen inside the mouth generally; what is inside are generally canker sores. Of the two unpleasant conditions, I would rather have the canker sores which are not externally visible, not contageous, and often can be improved quickly with over-the-counter remedies.

First try dissolving some candy zinc lozenges in your mouth. If you don't start seeing relief within a couple hours then try something else off the shelf, there are other remedies out there but I think the Zinc is the best bet. Dont swallow the lozenges; that would be useless unless you have some canker sore in your stomach also.

Edit: the zinc lozenge can help when the sores are due to microbes - probably not when due to other irritations but still give it a try. Zinc can work a lot faster on canker sores than it does on colds, probably because you are putting the zinc right at the scene of the infection immediately.

Another note: canker sores are believed to be often caused by microbes such as bacteria or viruses; just because they are not contagious doesn't imply otherwise.

Last edited by jeff666; 12-01-2007 at 09:33 PM. Reason: just though of something to add

Old 12-01-2007, 09:40 PM   #4
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catharine101 HB User
Re: Cold sore vs canker sore vs fever blister... anyone??

Hmmmm - the website I found specifically said that canker sores were NOT caused by viruses or bacteria. But then, there isn't any conflicting information about herpes out there either, is there!!

I actually have some over the counter stuff - some "all natural" remedy that totally didn't work last time I tried it!! I'll try again this time, and then garbagio!! Will try the lozenge if it doesn't work.

And to all my regular friends... yes, I will still try to get it swabbed!!

Old 12-02-2007, 05:09 AM   #5
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mendocino County
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Ca.Girl2 HB User
Re: Cold sore vs canker sore vs fever blister... anyone??

Glad your gona get that puppy swabbed girly...

Up way too early here on the west coast and not into sleeping so whats a girl to do but surf the health boards.. Way over the top stuff on here too if you dig deep enough. Some of it almost afternoon tv worthy if ya know what I mean.

Old 12-02-2007, 06:02 AM   #6
matter of time
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Join Date: Jan 2007
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matter of time HB User
Re: Cold sore vs canker sore vs fever blister... anyone??

I really can't help you on this but it sounds like everyone going through thier first years of herpes...I'm itchy...Is that IT? I have a that IT? I have a pimple in an unusual that IT? I have a sore in my that IT?

Drives you crazy.

AS you are going to do, get swabbed for peace of mind.

Our "family" remedy for canker sores is to put a bit of baking soda on it with your finger. Doesn't taste good but it works.

Old 12-02-2007, 08:05 AM   #7
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catharine101 HB User
Re: Cold sore vs canker sore vs fever blister... anyone??

Baking soda?? Hmmmm, well, it's cheap!!

I doubt I'll have a chance to get it swabbed. It's healing up already, and will probably be gone by tomorrow or the next day. By the time I get an appt it will be too late. Oh well, better luck next time... maybe I won't get it on the weekend and can get swabbed!!

California - glad to see you. I was afraid you'd been on a "holiday" from that post that got deleted the other day!! (I didn't see it).


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