Is This Herpes?

June 23, 2021

A small round blemish near a person's lip.I think I might have herpes. Could somebody please let me know?



Silver Post Medal for All Time! 267 Posts
June 23, 20210 found this helpful
Best Answer

First of all, I would talk to a doctor for a definite diagnosis as it is very difficult to tell just from a photo. But from what I can see, you have a roundish spot below your lip and another one right above. To my non medical eye, it looks like it could be Herpes Simplex I, which is different than genital herpes (Simplex II). But it could be chicken pox (which is a related disease) or another condition too.

Most people call them cold sores, as they often appear after an illness or stressful situation. They are not fun but nowhere as bad as genital herpes. Here is a WebMD article that talks about both conditions.

My father carelessly gave me cold sores when I was very young and I have been dealing with them ever since. I can go months or even years without an outbreak. Nowadays, they only happen if I allow my lips or nose to get very chapped or I am dealing with a lot of stress or another illness that is depressing my immune system.


In my experience, the cold sores tend to look like a bad burn or blister on the lips or around the nose. They don't feel hot though, more like a stinging needle of pain deep in the nerve. The first time someone contracts this condition, it is often combined with a slight fever and swelling as your body learns how to combat the virus. It often gets worse overnight or when exposed to hot water, as when you take a shower. Without treatment, it should only take a few days for the blister to subside and a few more for the skin to heal but it can be embarrassing and difficult to hide. You can also accidentally spread the sores to other parts of your lips or nose too, which starts the whole thing over again.

I used to use over the counter medications like Abreva but I have had better luck using isopropyl alcohol on a cotton ball. I leave it on my sore as long as I can stand it, usually several minutes. It stings and smells terrible but it usually stops the sore from getting bigger and seems to kill off the infection. There is a point where the sore seems to go numb. I do this first thing in the morning, before bed and a few times during the day, until I don't feel the stinging or swelling anymore. Some people recommend an ice cube for the same purpose but I would put it in a plastic bag to avoid getting the sore wet, as they thrive in a warm and moist environment. As soon as it starts to heal and feels like a "normal" sore, use Vasoline or a lip balm to keep the scab and surrounding skin soft and healing.


It's important to avoid kissing or sharing drinks with another person when you have an outbreak. They can be spread to your genitals if you are not careful but that does not mean that you have contracted the more serious Simplex II.

Here is some more information and home treatments for this condition. It is just a hassle, not life threatening unless you or someone else has a compromised immune system.

Good luck! This is a common condition worldwide, with estimates of nearly 2/3rd of adults having contracted it, many of which are asymptomatic and never get the actual blisters. Hopefully, we will have a vaccine in the near future, just like we do for chicken pox today. And they could be something else too, like ingrown hairs, an infected pimple or even HPV warts. Definitely check with your doctor for the best advice for treatment.

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
June 26, 20210 found this helpful

Please, please read and follow Jess's recommendations as only a doctor can answer your question for sure and can also supply all the information you will need for treatment - no matter what it is.


You should see your doctor as soon as possible because they can tell more about the problem while it is in 'full blown status'.

They will most likely preform some tests - blood tests for sure so they can provide an accurate diagnosis.

Do not hesitate seeing a doctor because you may feel uneasy discussing this problem but the doctor will only be interested in determining what is wrong and providing solutions for healing.

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Silver Answer Medal for All Time! 440 Answers
June 27, 20210 found this helpful

I agree with Jess, it looks like Herpes Simplex I. But only a doctor can tell exactly what it is.
95% of people have the Herpes Simplex I virus. And only a few have immunity, the reasons for which are still unclear.


I have it too. It only appeared on my lips. I learned to recognize the very first symptoms: as soon as I feel a faint tingling sensation in the area of the lips, I immediately apply an ointment (the ointment must contain Acyclovir) and this helps me to avoid the appearance of these unpleasant looking wavs. I always have this ointment with me. Therefore, I do not even remember the last time I had such wavs. And yes, this usually occurs when the immune system is weakened.

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