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What should I do about cold sores in my mouth and on my lips?

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Cold sores typically last anywhere from a couple of days to 2 weeks. If it’s been longer than 2 weeks, maybe it’s time to get it checked out. As for oral sex, if the sore is open, scabbed or oozing…oral sex can be dangerous. This sore might be the port of entry for some other bug (like HIV). Keeping it lubed up with vaseline might make it feel better (but won’t make it go away).

You can’t cure a cold sore, but you can alleviate the pain it causes by avoiding spicy or acidic foods, applying ice and using over-the-counter remedies. Look for medicines that contain numbing agents such as phenol, and emollients to reduce cracking and soften scabs.

Here are some general recommendations:

  • Don’t kiss someone who has a cold sore or use the same utensils, towels or razors.
  • Wash your hands after touching a cold sore.
  • Don’t rub your eyes after touching your cold sore; you could develop corneal herpes, Which may lead to blindness if left untreated.
  • Don’t touch your genitals after touching your cold sore; you could develop genital herpes.
  • Replace your toothbrush.

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