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Cold sores


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A cold sore usually starts with a tingling, itching or burning feeling. Over the next day or 2, a painful lump or blister will appear on your face.

Cold sores are contagious and can easily spread to other parts of your body and to other people. Avoid kissing other people until it is fully healed.

There are things you can do to help ease a cold sore while it heals, such as avoiding acidic or spicy food, and taking painkillers.

If a cold sores is very large, painful or keeps coming back, a GP may prescribe antiviral tablets.

Cold sores are caused by a virus called herpes simplex. The virus stays in your skin and sometimes causes a cold sore.

Cold sores are painful lumps or blisters on the face. They're caused by a virus and are very contagious.

Page last reviewed: 19/02/2024
Next review due: 19/02/2027