Cold sores and canker sores share some physical characteristics so many of you might be confused resulting you to use inappropriate treatments or remedies which may reflect on its outcome. So it is necessary to differentiate between these two conditions. In this article we have tried to summarize some features of each so you can distinguish between these two conditions.

Distinguishing Cold Sores and Canker Sores

Location: Cold sores are primarily located outside the mouth (may also be seen inside mouth in immuno-compromised people), while canker sores are usually located inside the mouth, usually inner lining of the cheeks, tongue, lips and the base of the gums.

Frequency: Cold sores occur as multiple blisters, while canker sores may occur as a single or in small groups. Both have tendency to recur.

Appearance: Cold sores have fluid filled blisters surrounded by a red halo, while canker sore have large sallow round ulcer without blistering and surrounded by erythematosus halos.

Halitosis: Cold sores are associated with bad breath, while canker sores are not usually associated with bad breath (in case of canker sores due to bacterial or fungal infection, bad breath may be present).

Fever: Cold sores may be associated with fever, while canker sores are not generally associated with fever until it’s due to some systemic infection.

Association: Cold sores may be associated with swollen neck glands, while canker sores are generally not associated with swollen neck glands.

Note: The symptoms like fever and swollen glands are less likely to present in every individuals. However absence of these symptoms doesn’t exclude the disease.

Contagious: Cold sores are exclusively caused by herpes simplex virus type-1 and 2 and are highly contagious, while canker sore may be caused by either bacterial or may be due to the result of underlying hematological abnormalities or gastrointestinal disorders. Canker sores are not contagious.

Pain: In both of the cases of cold sores and canker sore, lesions may be painful.

Here are few home remedies for cold sores and canker sores

Home Remedies for Cold Sores

Home Remedies for Canker Sores