What is the difference between canker sores and cold sores?
Answer : Canker sores are small ulcers with a white or gray base and a red border. They appear inside the mouth and are not contagious. Fatigue, stress, allergies, trauma and intestinal problems can increase the likelihood of a canker sore. They usually heal on their own after a week or two, but more severe outbreaks may occur. Over-the-counter topical anesthetics and antimicrobial mouth rinses may provide temporary relief. Avoid hot, spicy or acidic foods that can irritate the sore.
Cold sores are groups of fluid-filled blisters that can be painful. They often erupt around the lips and sometimes under the nose or around the chin. Cold sores are caused by herpes virus type 1 and are very contagious. Once a person is infected, the virus stays in the body and causes occasional attacks. These attacks may follow a fever, sunburn, skin abrasions or emotional upset. Most blisters heal in a week by themselves. Early treatment of prescription antiviral drugs may reduce these kinds of viral infections.