Over 90 percent of the population in the United States have cold sores. This is a skin infection caused by the virus herpes simplex (HSV-1). Cold sores are described as small, red, painful blisters that appear on the lip and around the mouth. They are also known as fever blisters. Although cold sores are super common, that doesn’t mean that you contract the virus HSV-1. Cold sores also share similar symptoms with other health problems. So, they are often confused with several skin conditions. Read on this article to identify if you have a cold sore or something else.
5 Skin Conditions That Can Be Mistaken for Cold Sores
Cold sores can be misdiagnosed as other skin problems. If you understand these problems, you can diagnose them better and treat them faster. These skin conditions may include:
Pimples are a common skin condition. They can be mistaken for cold sores. Pimples can show up anywhere on the human’s body. But when they appear on the lip around the mouth, people may confuse them with cold sores. Both conditions can look the same and cause discomfort to the sufferer. However, there are some differences between them. For example, pimples are just a single whitehead or blackhead. They can appear anywhere on your face (including your cheek, nose, lips or forehead). They can be painful to the touch. Meanwhile, cold sores can grow in a group of several tiny blisters. They can come out on one side of the affected part, for example your lower lip or your upper lip. Besides, cold sores can cause pain, itching, and a burning sensation.
This is one of the most common skin conditions that can be mistaken for cold sores. Both conditions are very painful. They appear near the same location. They also share the same triggers, such as hormones, fatigue, stress and facial trauma. However, cold sores and canker sores can be different in some ways. For example, cold sores are caused by viruses while the cause of canker sores is still unknown. Canker sores appear on the gums and inside the mouth while cold sores grow only outside of the mouth, on the lip. Moreover, cold sores are known as red, fluid-filled blisters. Canker sores, in other hand, are open, white or yellow sores surrounded by a bright red area. Cold sores are highly contagious through skin contact, but canker sores are not.
Read more: Home Remedies for Canker Sores
Chapped lips are common skin conditions that can be mistaken for cold sores. They happen when your lips become dry, chapped and cracked. Chapped lips can be caused by different factors. They are cold winds, dry winter air, sunlight and certain medications. Symptoms of chapped lips include swelling, cracking, bleeding and sores. These are similar to a cold sore’s symptoms. But, chapped lips are not contagious and can be prevented by lifestyle remedies. For example, drink enough water, use lip balm and avoid licking your lips.
Read more: 6 Things Your Lips Tell About Your Health
Insect bites are one kind of skin conditions that can be mistaken for cold sores. These bites are most common during the warm weather and summer seasons. Flies, mosquitoes, bees, ants and fleas are the main culprits. Insect bites on or near your lips can cause many symptoms that look like cold sores. They are swelling, itching, burning, pain and blisters or sores. Most insect bites are not dangerous, but some can lead to serious infections if untreated. To avoid getting these bites on your lips, be cautious when near their nests or hives. Protect your lips when being outside. Avoid using perfume and scented lotion.
Ingrown hairs are familiar skin conditions that can be mistaken for cold sores. Both of these do have several things in common. For example, they are itchy, painful, and uncomfortable. These growing back hairs can irritate your skin. They can cause raised, small, red bumps on the affected skin that may resemble pimples. Ingrown hairs are caused by tweezing, waxing, or shaving hair. They do not cause flu-like symptoms and cannot be contagious like cold sores. To remove those hairs, you can apply a hot compress or use Hydrocortisone cream. To prevent them, shave your hairs with a sharp single-blade razor. Also, moisturize your skin regularly and protect it from dryness and abrasions.
Cold sores are so common, but many people misdiagnose them as some other skin conditions. Because of this, they receive wrong treatment and suffer from severe complications. Cold sores are very easy to treat and prevent. You can use Prosurx– one of the best topical cold sores treatments. It can cure your cold sores within 24 hours and stop another outbreak. If you want to get rid of the virus, use supplements and eat healthy foods.