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What Is The Difference Between Canker Sores And Cold Sores?

Canker Sore vs Cold Sore

Being aware which type of sore you have is vital to figure out what type of treatment you need. In addition, there are several approaches to identify which type of sore you have through checking on your symptoms.

Cold Sore Symptoms include:

  • Swollen glands
  • Scab/s over the blister
  • Pain on the affected area or around the mouth
  • Fever
  • Clear leaky fluid that comes from the sore
  • Sore throat

On the other hand, canker sore symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • An open ulcer or a tiny-sized painful sore
  • Swollen glands
  • Whitish or yellowish in color

It matters to know that the greatest difference between a cold sore and a canker sore is what they look like and where they are on the body. A canker sore is typically white or yellow in color while a cold sore is commonly reddish and at times it leaks a very clear fluid.

Both types of sore can cause fever; however, normally a canker sore only causes fever, swollen glands or fatigue only occurs in serious cases.

Treatment Options for Canker Sores and Cold Sores

There are a lot of medications for canker sore which can be purchased over the counter to aid relieve the pain and heal the sore. The medications usually come in ointments or gels which can be directly placed on the affected area. Oral rinses are available as well. You can also try home remedies like rinsing with peroxide or rinsing with water and salt to aid clean out the sore and the whole mouth.

Meanwhile, for cold sores, you can buy topical creams and ointments which can also be bought over the counter. But, when cold sores are severe and extremely painful, doctors may prescribe pills or stronger ointment; at times they may also require medical attention and may take a long period to heal.

Cold sores can recur due to herpes simplex virus. This type of sore stays in the body and can no longer be fully treated. To prevent them from recurring often, seek medical attention.

What is a canker sore?

Canker sore refers to an open sore on the tongue or in the mouth. It is also known as an aphthous ulcer. It is a type of sore may cause discomfort.

A canker sore is commonly yellowish or whitish and comes with a red spot in the center. It is not contagious and hence it cannot be spread by sharing drinks or foods, kissing and other forms of mouth to mouth interaction.

Click to read more information about canker sores.

What Causes of Canker Sores?

  • Vitamin Deficiency
  • Menstrual period
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Food allergies
  • Hormones
  • Stress

What is a cold sore?

Cold sore is commonly linked to herpes simplex virus. It is a type of sore typically occurs at the side of the mouth or along the lips.

It is small, reddish and painful. It is also referred to as fever blisters. It tends to scab and leak fluid at certain times.

A cold sore is highly communicable and can be easily spread from touching the sore, various mouth to mouth interactions like sharing drinks or foods and kissing.

Click to read more information about cold sores.

What Causes of Cold Sores?

  • This can be brought on by a person who is already infected with herpes simplex virus. Once the infected person shares their saliva with another person through sipping on the same straw, cup or glass, kissing or through oral sex, then, the virus will easily be spread and bring out a cold sore.


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