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I have an oozing sore on my face...
May 23, 2005 7:37 PM   Subscribe

I get these from time to time, usually on the front of my chin or outsides of my mouth:

It flares up red, gets itchy, then oozes a sap-like puss for a day.
If you dont touch it, the puss gets hard/crusty.

What is this, and how to I treat/get rid of?
posted by phredhead to Health & Fitness (14 answers total)
 
Sounds like a cold sore. Short answer: you're stuck with them for life, but when you learn to spot them at the itchy/tingly stage, you can treat them before they appear.
posted by tracicle at 7:42 PM on May 23, 2005


Is it a cold sore?
posted by LittleMissCranky at 7:45 PM on May 23, 2005


Cold sore. Don't bother with the over-the-counter remedies; they're all entirely useless. Go to your doctor and ask for Denavir, that'll clear it up.
posted by ook at 8:02 PM on May 23, 2005


impetigo too, it could be--neosporin will help. does it itch when it's starting?
posted by amberglow at 8:41 PM on May 23, 2005


dont let other people share your drinking glass/straw or other stuff you put near it. You could easily spread it to them.
posted by Iax at 8:43 PM on May 23, 2005


(it's generally a kids thing, but i still get it, too)
posted by amberglow at 8:44 PM on May 23, 2005


I get what sounds like the same thing. It always occurs in exactly the same place about a quarter/half inch below my lip right in the crease between my lip and chin. It never involves my lip or is even up next to my lip. When you look at the examples of cold sores they always seem to be right up at the lip. Can you get cold sores on your chin? I don't think it's impetigo because it always occurs in the same place. Stress seems to be a factor. Makes me think cold sore except for the location.

No answers. Just hitching on. It's great to have a place where you can share about your running sores.
posted by Carbolic at 9:43 PM on May 23, 2005


Carbolic, you can get cold sores pretty much anywhere around your mouth. I used to get them exclusively on my lips, but they have since moved to my chin. I'm just thankful that, unlike a family friend, I do not get them in and around my nostrils.
posted by arha at 11:03 PM on May 23, 2005


More info here.
posted by wsg at 1:11 AM on May 24, 2005


I'd just like to say that I've had great success with Abreva, an over the counter medicine, and everyone I've turned it on to seems to have a similar good experience. The trick is to identify when they're just about to come on and then slather the stuff on and rub it in completely a few times a day. Ever since I started using it, my cold sores have gone from annoying and lasting for a couple weeks to annoying and lasting a day or two.

And keep in mind, even Katie Holmes gets them! Not that I read US Weekly. No kids thing, Amber -- all the adults in my family are afflicted, including my 92 year-old grandmother.
posted by incessant at 2:00 AM on May 24, 2005


High stress or extreme weather conditions often seem key to triggering them. I get one in the same place about every other year although it's been more than two years since my last. Most often I get it from skiing/snowshoeing without putting any sunscreen on, although once i triggered it by a simple scratch.
posted by furtive at 4:38 AM on May 24, 2005


I second the suggestion of Abreva. It's really expensive and comes in a tiny, easy-to-lose tube packaged in a weird, almost unopenable plasticky box, but damned if it doesn't halt cold sores right in their tracks. Start using it as soon as you feel that itchy tingle, and use it religiously several times a day. It really does work.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:14 AM on May 24, 2005


Oh, and if cold sores start oozing, don't touch them! If you do, wash your hands immediately. The pus is how the virus spreads, either to other people or other parts of your face.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:16 AM on May 24, 2005


Most people get these the first time as kids. Like chickenpox, it is a form of the herpes virus. The first outbreak tends to be the worse and each recurrence a little less severe. When I feel one coming on, I immediately take two Valtrex (a prescription drug normally taken for genital herpes) and start using Denavir (a prescription salve already mentioned). These two together usually stop it before the skin breaks, and so it recovers very quickly and unnoticeably. Do take precautions to not spread it. Wash your hands after every time you touch your face. Be VERY careful not to touch your eyes! BTW, the studies show that taking two Valtrex upon the initial sensation is effective, but taking any more, or continuing to take the dosage for several days, has no additional beneficial effects.
posted by juggler at 7:20 AM on May 24, 2005


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