Cold Sores versus Fever Blisters (Body Fact #3)

Cold sores (also called fever blisters) are small, painful, fluid-filled blisters that show up one at a time or in little bunches. They usually occur on your lips and they last 7 to 10 days. Just to let you know, you don't need to have a cold to get a cold sore. And you don’t need a fever to have a fever blister!

Cold sores are very common and very contagious. Once you catch the virus that causes them, it stays in your body waiting around for another time to come out and cause more sores. Cold sores usually come back in the same place as previous ones.

Cold sores generally clear up without treatment in a week or so. But you may want to speed up the healing process by trying some of the cold-sore medicines at the drugstore. There are many different products that dry up and heal cold sores. Some work better than others, so try them until you find the one that works best for you. If you get a lot of cold sores, your parents may take you to see your family doctor. He or she can give you a special cream that will speed the healing even faster and reduce the pain.

While you’re waiting for the cold sore to go away, remember to wash your hands regularly and don’t pick at it. You don’t want to spread the virus to other parts of your body, like your eyes or groin.
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