Are canker sores herpes?

10 Apr Are canker sores herpes?

canker sore compared to herpes lesion

Are Canker Sores Herpes?

We often get asked “Is a canker sore herpes”? So lets take a look at what a canker sore is, and how to tell the difference between a canker sore and herpes.

Although they can appear on the inside of the lip, they are not caused by herpes simplex virus and are not related to cold sores.  A canker sore is actually a small ulcer inside the mouth. They can present anywhere inside the mouth, including the inside of the cheek, inner surface of the lips, base of the gums, tongue, or on the soft palate. They usually first affect people between the ages of 10-20.

Canker sores are extremely painful, and can be very bothersome when eating, drinking or even talking. They are usually small and round, with a white or yellowish center and red around the edges.  Many people confuse these sores with herpes simplex 1, or cold sores. But actually they are totally unrelated.

What are the differences between a canker and cold sore?
A canker is non-viral, and not contagious. A canker only occurs on the inside of the mouth, whereas herpes cold sores generally occur on the outside affecting the lips, though on occasion they may occur on the hard palate. A cold sore starts with small blisters. A canker starts with a red spot or bump that turns into an open ulcer.

What causes canker sores?
Some common causes of canker sores are sensitivity to sodium lauryl sulfate, a common ingredient in toothpaste, allergies, biting your inner lip or cheek, stress, trauma from hard chips or other foods, and a deficiency of vitamin B12, folic acid or iron. It is believed that the immune system also plays a part in canker sores, so boosting your immune system can help prevent canker sores.

If you suffer regularly from canker sores, try finding a toothpaste that does not contain lauryl sulfate, and try taking vitamins to ensure you are not deficient in the vitamins mentioned above.

To treat a canker sore, you can use a salt water rinse and swish it around the sore, you can also use a combination of half milk of magnesia with half hydrogen peroxide and apply it directly to the sore with a cotton swab four times a day.  It can also help to put some honey on the sore, the honey has anti-bacterial properties and can soothe the sore.

In closing, as you can see canker sores are an annoying but benign condition that is not contagious nor viral, and does not spread like herpes.

 

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