What is the difference between Cold Sores and Impetigo?

Impetigo and cold sores can look very similar with blisters that crust over as they heal. These symptoms are located around the mouth making it hard to tell the difference between the two.

Impetigo is a skin infection that is caused by bacteria. It begins as small fluid-filled blisters on the skin which then crack and open, releasing clear fluid. After a few days these sores crust over and heal within 10-14 days. These blisters tend to be bigger than cold sore blisters. Impetigo outbreaks usually only occur once.

Impetigo can be found anywhere on the body, it is most commonly found around the lip, chin and nose area. These sore may be itchy are and very contagious. Impetigo can be treated with a topical antibiotic.

On the other hand cold sores (HSV-1) is a skin infection caused by a virus which also starts as a fluid filled blister which cracks open, releasing clear fluid. Cold Sores are often found on and around the lips, or at the corners of the mouth. They usually go away on their own over a period of 10-21 days, scabbing over as they heal. Cold sores can be quite painful, during the first few days from their appearance.

Unfortunately, there is no medication to cure cold sores. The herpes virus stays in the body and can come out at any time. Stress, illness and sun exposure are all triggers of colds.

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