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Difference between Herpes and Canker Sores

Difference between Herpes and Canker Sores

If you have ever been infected with herpes, you know that it is a very serious condition. However, if you have never heard of canker sores before, you may be wondering what they are and how they compare to herpes. In this blog post, we will discuss the difference between herpes and canker sores. Keep reading to learn more!

What is Herpes Sore?

Herpes is a virus that can cause sores on your skin or mucous membranes. The most common type of herpes is called HSV-1, which usually causes sores around the mouth and lips. It can also be spread to the genitals through oral sex. Herpes can also be caused by HSV-2, which is mainly transmitted through sexual contact. Herpes sores are usually small, red, and painful. They can appear anywhere on your body, but they are most common on the genitals, buttocks, or anus. Herpes sores usually heal within a few weeks without leaving any scarring. However, the virus remains in your body and can cause future outbreaks. Herpes is a highly contagious virus and can be spread through direct contact with an infected person or through contact with contaminated objects.

Herpes is most commonly spread through kissing or sexual contact with an infected person. Herpes can also be spread from an infected mother to her baby during childbirth. Herpes is not curable, but there are treatments that can help to reduce the severity of symptoms and shorten the duration of outbreaks. There is no cure for herpes, but you can take steps to prevent spreading the virus to other people. Herpes can be a serious health issue, so it’s important to see a doctor if you think you may have been exposed to the virus.

What is Canker Sore?

  • Canker sores are small, shallow ulcers that develop on the soft tissues in your mouth or at the base of your gums. They’re also called aphthous ulcers. Canker sores are different from cold sores. Cold sores are caused by a virus and usually occur outside your mouth, on your lips, cheeks, or chin. Canker sores have unknown causes but may be triggered by stress, certain foods, or initial infection with the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Canker sores aren’t contagious like cold sores. Most people get canker sores occasionally.
  • They commonly occur in teens and young adults but can happen at any age. Canker sores usually go away without treatment in one to two weeks. Some home remedies and over-the-counter treatments may help relieve pain and speed healing. If you get canker sores frequently or they don’t heal within three weeks, see your doctor or dentist for evaluation and treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment of canker sores can help prevent them from getting worse or coming back. Canker Sore Causes Canker sores have unknown causes but may be triggered by: -stress -certain foods -injury to the mouth -hormonal changes -illness -immune system problems Food triggers include: -citrus fruits -coffee -chocolate -strawberries -tomatoes Canker Sore Symptoms depend on the type of ulcer you have. Types of canker sores include Minor canker sore: Appears as a small oval lesion with a red border and white or yellow center.
  • A minor canker sore is less than ¼ inch (6 millimeters) in diameter and heals within two weeks without scarring Major canker sore: Appears as a large oval or round lesion with an extensive red border and deep ulceration in the center. A major canker sore is more than ¼ inch (6 millimeters) in diameter, takes more than two weeks to heal, and often leaves a scar Herpetiform canker sore: Appear as multiple tiny ulcerations that look like blisters and cluster together to form one large lesion Canker Sore Complications Canker sores usually don’t cause complications, but complications can occur in some cases, such as when you have a severe case or another underlying condition.

Difference between Herpes and Canker Sores

Herpes and canker sores are two very different conditions that can both cause mouth sores. Herpes is caused by a virus and can appear as Cold Sores or Genital Herpes. Canker Sores are not contagious and are usually caused by stress, irritation, or injury to the mouth. Herpes sores are typically small, fluid-filled blisters that appear in clusters. They can be painful and often recur in the same place. Canker sores are small, shallow ulcers that occur singly or in clusters. They have a white or yellow center with a red border and can be very painful. Herpes sores usually go away on their own within 2-3 weeks.

Canker sores can last for up to 3 weeks. Herpes is a viral infection and can be passed from person to person through skin contact or bodily fluids. Canker sores are not contagious. If you think you have Herpes, it’s important to see a doctor so they can prescribe medication to help reduce the duration and severity of outbreaks. There is no cure for Herpes but it can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes. Canker sores usually go away on their own and do not require treatment. However, if you have a lot of pain or if they last longer than 3 weeks, you should see your doctor rule out other causes such as an autoimmune disease or viral infection.


Although both herpes and canker sores are mouth ulcers, there is a big difference between the two. Herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) and is a sexually transmitted infection, while canker sores are not contagious. Canker sores are usually smaller and less severe than herpes ulcers, and they go away on their own within 10-14 days.

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