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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » cold sores

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Author Topic: cold sores
kamille
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Member # 42270

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Alright, so I woke up with pain just above my upper lip. Upon closer inspection, I found what looked to be a pimple-like mound. Throughout the day it got bigger, and more annoying. So used a q-tip, got some rubbing alcohol, and popped it a bit. So, that sort of worked...white pimple-like stuff came out, but so did fluid. And it still kind of looks like a pimple! Now, my dad gets cold sores, A LOT. I have never had one before. But recently, a friend of mine had a really giant outbreak on her lip. Are there different strains? Like, say I had it from my dad, but it's been asymptomatic. Could I have caught it from my friend and developed a cold sore? Can you tell me the difference between cold sores and pimples. Please? Thanks.
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Karybu
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 20094

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Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus (HSV). Pimples are just clogged pores that get infected, and it does sound like what you have is a pimple.

There are two strains of HSV, but the vast majority of cold sores are caused by HSV-1. (Genital herpes is usually caused by HSV-2, and although HSV-1 can infect the genitals, and HSV-2 can cause cold sores, it doesn't usually happen that way). So, unless your friend has cold sores due to HSV-2, and you had contact with her that would have transmitted HSV-2 to you (sharing drinking glasses, a kiss on the cheek, things like that) it's pretty unlikely that's what's going on.

Sorry if that's not a very clear explanation - does it make sense to you?

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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kamille
Activist
Member # 42270

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Yeah, I think it kind of makes sense. So, let's say, since my dad has it, that I've somehow had it for a long time but been asymptomatic. Would a cold sore just come up out of the blue like this? It's feeling a bit tingly.
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Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

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Yes, it's entirely possible to carry the HSV-1 virus and be asymptomatic. Without being there with you, and without being health care professionals, it's impossible to say what you've got, but based on your description, like Karybu I'm thinking that what yu describe sounds more l Given that, since you are close with people who do get cold sores, it still is quite possible that you carry the HSV-1 virus.

ike a pimple than a sore.

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Robin

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