Both of these condition cause small sores to develop in or around the mouth, and often are confused with each other.
Cancer sores occur only INSIDE the mouth-on the tongue and the inside linings of the cheeks, lips and throat.
Fever blisters usually occur OUTSIDE the mouth-on the lips, chin, cheeks or in the nostrils. If they do occur inside the mouth, it is usually on the gums or the roof of the mouth. Inside the mouth, fiver blisters are smaller than canker sores, heal more quickly and often begin as a blister.
They are caused by a contagious virus called herpes simplex. There are two types of herpes simplex virus.
Type 1-95% of recurrent fever blister outbreaks are caused by this virus
Type 2-genital herpes 5-10% of the cases
Herpes simplex virus is highly contagious when fever blisters are present and is frequently spread by kissing. Most people with type 1 virus become infected before the age of 10.
In initial infection for most people have no symptoms. 15%, however, develop:
Fluid-filled blisters inside and outside their mouth 3-5 days after they are infected
Swollen neck glands
Blisters merge than collapse
A yellowish crust form over the sores
Healing occurs within 2 weeks without scaring
This virus stays in the body
Recurring blister tend to erupt at the outside edge of the lip/edge of nostril
Recurrent fever blister attacks are less server than th initial infection
Recurrences appear less after age 35
Cause for a recurrence of fever blister:
Exposure to sunlight
Some medication will relieve some of the pain and discomfort associated with the sores. Here is what you can do:
Antibiotics to control secondary bacterial infection
Ointments to soften the crusts of the sores
Keep blisters clean and dry to prevent bacterial infection
Eat a soft, bland diet to avoid irritating the sores
Do not touch the sores and spread the virus to new sites
Avoid kissing others or touching the blisters and touching others, this will infect others
Sunscreen on lips can prevent sun-induced recurrences of herpes
Reapply sunblock factor of 15 or higher frequently during sun exposure
Reduce stress in life
Click here to learn more about Canker sores.