We all hate ‘cold sores’, because they are so ugly and noticeable. Cold sores start as tiny blisters on or near the lips. A cold sore is usually gone within a week or two, but is really upsetting while it lasts.
How do you know if you have a cold sore?
- The first sign is a burning, tingling or itching feeling in the skin where the cold sore will erupt. If you have had a cold sore before, you will recognize this feeling as soon as it starts.
- The tingling lasts for about 6 hours. Then you will notice a group of tiny blisters (usually 3–5) with some reddish swelling of the skin around them.
- After a day or two, the blisters become an open sore. This is the start of the ugly stage.
- Within a further day or two, a scabby crust forms over the sore.
- The sore gradually heals, and is gone about 7–10 days after it started.
Written by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Edited by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Last updated: Wednesday, November 2nd 2011
Useful contacts for Cold sores
Click to see all the contacts that you may find useful in relation to cold sores
551 people have
tackled this problem!
Tell us your thoughts
Did you find what you were looking for?
Add a comment
Please note we cannot answer your questions directly. If you are concerned, please talk to your doctor.
Share your stories, tips and solutions here to help others tackle it, move on. As all comments are moderated, there will be a delay before your comment appears.