Cold sores are often embarrassing and painful, but they can sometimes lead to further complications, such as red skin or scarring around the lips and mouth area. The problem is that sometimes a cold sore mark won’t go away.
It won’t be easy to see a scar if you have light-colored skin. This is because scars typically turn a white color because the melanocyte cells have been damaged. But, if your skin is darker in color, a hypopigmented scar is inevitably going to be more noticeable.
The final color of a scar may depend on if you’ve exposed it to direct sunlight at an early stage. You’re strongly advised to stay out of the sun, or apply an SPF 50+ sun block cream when the scarring has recently occurred. This will ensure that any markings are less noticeable.
While most people aren’t affected by cold sore scars, it can occur if the healing process isn’t completed in its own time. Scarring because of cold sores is more likely to happen if you accidentally disturb or pick at the scab when it’s in the process of healing.
Having a cold sore doesn’t automatically mean that a cold sore will leave a red mark behind. It all depends on the treatment that you use and how you take care of the scab during recovery. As a rule, scars are much easier to lighten when they’re new. Older scars are more resilient to skin-healing treatments.
If you often struggle with cold sores and are concerned, take a look at some of the fastest-working fever blister treatments. You may be able to cut out the scabbing stage completely.
Do Cold Sores Leave Scars or Red Marks When Gone?
If you do have cold sore scars, getting rid of them, or reducing their appearance, is achievable. Let’s take a closer look at a few things you should know when it comes to fever blisters and how to get rid of a cold sore scar.
How Long Do Cold Sores Last?
They last for 2 weeks, depending on the severity and the treatment. Topical creams, home remedies, etc., all work differently, and with different levels of effectiveness. But, even with no treatment at all, you can expect them to be gone in under 14 days. Find out about doctor-recommended HERP-B-Gone Cold Sore Cream, which reduces the healing time to around 3 days.
During that time, you can hide them with a medicated cold sore patch. This is a good technique because the patch will stop you from scratching off the scab, accidentally or intentionally.
Don’t use makeup as it’ll look ugly, and it can lead to infection. The best thing you can do is keep the area moisturized and let it breathe. This will help to prevent the skin from cracking.
The Healing Process of Cold Sores
A cold sore will typically start out as a sort of tingling feeling around your lips. You may notice the skin becomes tighter as it forms, too. After it blisters, you’ll notice several small bumps that tend to cluster together. These are filled with a highly infectious liquid.
Those blisters can sometimes burst, and this is known as the ‘ulcer’ stage, which can be painful. The sores can become inflamed, but after this stage, they will start to scab over. This is where they begin healing.
It takes time for the scab to form fully, and then naturally go away. Any dryness and flaking of your skin in that area are normal as the cold sore heals. The key is not removing the scab before it’s had the area has had the chance to heal completely. That way, there will be no mark or red skin.
Do Cold Sores Leave Scars?
Typically, cold sores will heal on their own over time, without leaving any scars. After all, they’re nothing more than a blister, typically found around the mouth and lips, and blisters don’t need to result in noticeable scars, provided that you leave them alone.
There are cases in which cold sores leave scars. This can occur if they are especially bad, or if you have had a bad outbreak. It can also happen if you pick at the scabs of the scars as they begin to heal. Interrupting the healing process increases the risk of noticeable scars.
The problem is that cold sores itch when they’re healing. This is a good thing, but you do need to be careful. You’re more at risk of a white scar on the lip following a cold sore.
Cold Sore Scar Healing Time
During the early stages, use the Virulite Cold Sore Machine, to prevent scarring. Many people reduce the cold sore healing time from 14 days to just 3 days and don’t have to go through all of the different stages of recovery.
Prevention is better than the cure, so take steps to minimize the risk of being affected. However, if you do develop scars from cold sores, apply Mederma Advanced Scar Gel. You can’t completely remove scarring, but you can reduce the visibility with continued application.
How to Prevent Cold Sore Scarring
Preventing scarring from happening in the first place is relatively easy. Most cold sores won’t naturally scar on their own if they are treated properly, and you don’t pick at them. It can be tempting to touch the sores, or pick at scabs, etc. But, in doing so, you’re running the risk of spreading the sores, and if the scab gets picked off prematurely, it’s likely a scar will occur.
Cold Sore Treatment to Minimize Scarring
A cold sore scar on the lip can be embarrassing, so choosing the right treatment for the cold sore is important. From specific creams that contain acyclovir to home remedies like vanilla extract, there are a variety of options.
When you use a cold sore treatment, it will help the sore to heal faster and act as a cleaner. The scab shouldn’t last as long, reducing the risk of a scar after it’s fallen off, or flaked away. You’re minimizing your chances of scarring when you take the proper steps to treat the cold sore before it has a chance even to become a scar.
How to Get Rid of a Cold Sore Scar
While some scars may take more time to fade away, there are things you can do to disguise a scar. This includes everything from covering it with concealer, to trying a scar-reducing cream or ointment. You can also try to apply an aloe vera gel. The properties in aloe vera promote the production of collagen, which can help your lips.
Home Remedies for Cold Sore Scars
With just a quick search, you’re likely to find dozens of home remedies for cold sore scarring. Common remedies include tea tree oil, Vitamin E oil, lemon juice (for bleaching), or even a sugar scrub mixture. Using any exfoliating mixture with natural ingredients can help to keep the skin around your lips moisturized. This can promote further healing, and reduce the appearance of cold sore scars.
What if a Cold Sore Scar is Not Going Away?
Unfortunately, some scars may last a long time. If you had a particularly bad outbreak or the sore was traumatized by the picking of a scab, the scar may be prominent. If a cold sore scar isn’t going away, continue to treat it. It may just take longer for your scar(s) to heal.
Preventative Measures for Cold Sores
The best way to prevent red marks after a cold sore is to do what you can to prevent them in the first place. The most important preventative measure you can take is to be cautious. Cold sores are extremely contagious, so be aware that anything you touch could be carrying the virus. This also includes kissing your partner, sharing drinks, etc.
Reducing common cold sore triggers is also an important preventative measure. Some people find that they will get cold sores as a result of stress. If you’re one of those people, use techniques to reduce your stress levels.
Above all else, however, the best thing you can do to prevent cold sores in the first place is making better lifestyle and diet choices. Practice good hygiene, and do what you can to stay healthy. This includes a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, exercising, etc.
We tend to forget just how much our lifestyle choices can affect even the smallest things. But, those small changes and choices can make a big difference in the presence of cold sores. As a result, the less cold sore outbreaks, the less chance you’ll have of getting scars. If you already have a scar, apply Mederma Advanced Scar Gel to reduce the visibility.