When you have cold sores, you’ll develop fluid-filled blisters beneath the skin’s surface. It is the blister that contains the contagious herpes virus.
It is true that FDA-approved creams and the latest medical devices can heal cold sores faster. But, there is no getting around the fact that blistering is a part of the lifecycle of a cold sore. You haven’t treated the condition, so there is no medical reason why blistering won’t have taken place.
Because blisters must occur, if you encounter some lip pain without a sore, you need a diagnosis by a doctor. There is a possibility that an alternative medical problem has led to the condition. It could be something more serious than a fever blister.
We’ll help you to understand the cold sore lifecycle. You’ll also learn about skin conditions mistaken for fever blisters. Keep reading to find out why you may be experiencing lip or mouth pain.
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Although cold sore blisters are unique, they all have common traits.
Typically forming in clusters, cold sores are firm to the touch and filled with fluid. The blisters can often be described as “tight” due to the fluid compression within the blister itself. This can lead to pain in the problem area.
Often reddish or brownish tan in color, they can produce a harsh visual. This is particularly important when the outbreak is aggressive. Due to intense swelling, some blisters can pass for altercation marks in some cases.
Until the blister bursts and slowly begin to scab, it is typical for a “fat lip” appearance to take hold. You’ll notice redness and swelling. This is one reason why cold sores are not only painful but also embarrassing.
Although it is possible to heal a cold sore in days, the cycle is still the cycle. Unlike many skin conditions and general illnesses, an outbreak must pass through a series of stages.
Listed below are the lifecycle stages of a cold sore and the symptoms you can expect:
Although the cold sore cycle is quite detailed, the entire process (through natural means) usually only lasts 8-14 days. The cycle can be cut in half and then some with effective OTC medication, such as HERP-B-GONE.
It should also be noted that cold sores are deemed contagious from the initial symptom until fully healed.
The odds of healing a cold sore outbreak and stopping blister formation at the tingle stage is slim. Although treatment at the earliest of symptoms is encouraged, no medication applied, even at the tingle stage, can prevent a blister.
If you have encountered lip irritation without a visual representation, it could be related to something else. This is especially true if the sensation concluded without producing a blister, bump, rash, etc.
The lips are a sensitive region of the body. For this very reason, it does not take much to produce some level of irritation. While that irritation does not always take the form of a blister, some elements can create issues.
It is also not uncommon for these issues to be mistaken for cold sores. If you have never had a legitimate cold sore outbreak in the past, any blister could be mistaken for a fever blister.
Detailed below are just a few of the most common skin conditions and irritations that could be mistaken for cold sores:
Receiving a proper diagnosis from your doctor is critical because making blind assumptions and conclusions is never wise. Furthermore, attempting to treat the unknown with the wrong type of medication could make matters worse.
If you have had cold sores in the past, you likely know how to spot the next one. The issue is usually recognized, treated, and then healed in a timely fashion. However, just because an unknown blister has appeared on your lip does not mean it is a cold sore.
Because it has been established that cold sores must follow a natural cycle, healing an outbreak before a sore developing is unlikely. It is critical to know what is causing your issue. If your lip pain, tingle, burning, etc. is not a cold sore, you need to seek medical attention.
The final takeaway is two-fold. The first point of importance is understanding the complexity of a cold sore and its symptoms. The more you know about HSV-1 and fever blisters the more you will know about your situation.
Secondly, since cold sores are not able to be healed before the blister stage, what is the real concern? Do you have an allergy? Do you have an insect bite? Consulting with your physician can eliminate the natural inclination to self-diagnose and treat it with the wrong medication.
Although cold sores can be painful and annoying, they do not have to be a confusing issue. Trying to treat any medical condition based on assumption can be dangerous. The more you understand about HSV-1, the better you will be if an outbreak does occur.