Canker Sores and Cold Sores

Sometimes people talk about canker sores and cold sores as if they are the same thing. They aren’t. Both of them can hurt, but to deal with them correctly, you need to know the differences between them.

  • If you have a canker sore, it will usually be inside your mouth. Canker sores are a light color, but they have a ring of red around them. Be patient, and over time it will generally clear up. Eating right and practicing good oral hygiene will help you heal faster. You can also try a rinse or an anesthetic to relieve discomfort.
  • If you have a cold sore, it will usually be outside the mouth. It is often on or near your nose or your mouth. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. It is contagious, it usually hurts, and it will be filled by liquid. Over-the-counter topical creams can give you relief; you may also ask your doctor to prescribe an antiviral medication.

Other info you may find useful.

What to Do about Common Mouth Sores and Patches