Difference Between Cold Sore and Fever Blister

Difference – Cold Sore vs  Fever Blister

Cold sores and fever blisters are two names for a  type of skin lesions which can be seen on our body due to various etiological conditions. Although many people assume that there is a difference between cold sore and fever blister, they are two names for the same condition. The name fever blister is used since this condition is usually associated with fever. 

What are Cold Sores

Cold sores are a type of painful blisters which appear outside the mouth, around the nose and lips or under the chin. The causative herpes simplex virus normally enters the body through a breakage of skin around or inside the mouth and typically spreads through direct or indirect contact with the skin, sharing utensils and hygienic material like toothbrushes with the infected person, kissing an infected person or any contamination with the infected saliva.Furthermore, healthcare workers like dentists and respiratory therapists are at a high risk of developing herpetic whitlow with cold sores due to possible contacts with patients having this contagious condition.

Poor immunity –HIV/AIDS, malignancies, and steroid therapy can also precipitate cold sores as a result of the declining ability of the body to fight against pathogenic organisms.

These are usually found around the mouth and on lips with the skin surrounded will be noted all reddened, swollen and sore. Blisters, filled with fluid will rupture on their own within 2-4 days and heal with scab formation without forming any long term scars. Certain antiviral drugs may help to hasten the healing process and pain relieving medication can be taken if the pain is unbearable.

Difference Between Cold Sore and Fever Blister

What are Fever Blisters

Fever blisters is  another name for cold sores described above and in some parts of the world, this term is used instead since they are usually associated with fever. The skin around the blisters are usually red and swollen, giving a picture of a possible inflammation, so it is highly important to make an accurate diagnosis to proceed with the treatments accordingly.

Difference Between Cold Sore and Fever Blister

Both cold sores and fever blisters refer to the same condition; the name fever blister is used since these blisters are associated with fever most of the time. Major etiology for cold sores to develop is known to be Herpes simplex virus (HSV), both type 1 and 2.

Image Courtesy:

“Herpes labialis” By Metju12 – Own work (Public Domain) via

About the Author: Embogama

Embogama is a passionate freelance writer for several years. Her areas of interest include general medicine, clinical medicine, health and fitness, Ayurveda medicine, psychology, counseling and piano music


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