Cold sores are an uncomfortable nuisance that can cause redness, swelling, and sometimes pain on the lips or around the mouth. While there are many over-the-counter treatments available, seeking medical treatment from a doctor can be beneficial.

In this post, we will discuss how to find the right doctor for cold sores, along with the reasons for seeking medical help and when to consult a doctor.

Choosing the Right Doctor for Cold Sores

Research Online Reviews H3

One of the best ways to find a great doctor for treating cold sores is by checking out online reviews. Sites like Healthgrades or Yelp can provide valuable insight into a doctor’s experience and qualifications, as well as personal reviews from actual patients who have received treatment from them.

Make sure that you take time to read through multiple reviews from different people in order to get an accurate picture of what it would be like working with this particular doctor. 

You can also check our article on Home Remedies for Herpes Cold Sores.

Ask Your Primary Care Physician 

If you don’t feel comfortable conducting research on your own, your primary care physician can help point you in the right direction when it comes to finding a good doctor for cold sores. They may know someone in their network who specializes in this area or may even be able to refer you to another specialist within their practice if needed. 

Asking your primary care physician can provide peace of mind knowing that you will be getting quality care from someone who understands your condition and can provide proper treatment options tailored specifically to your needs.  

Consider Experience and Qualifications 

When selecting a doctor for cold sore treatment, it is important that they have adequate experience and qualifications in order to properly diagnose and treat your condition.

Make sure that you check their credentials online or ask them directly about their experience treating similar cases.

Find out if they have any special certifications or awards related to their work with cold sores, and make sure that you feel comfortable with the level of expertise they possess before making any commitments. 

Look for Referrals from Friends or Family Members 

Another great way to find a great doctor for treating cold sores is by asking friends or family members who have experience with these types of treatments. Ask them which doctors they used and whether or not they would recommend them.

This type of firsthand knowledge can be invaluable when choosing the right medical professional for your specific needs. 

Consider Specialists in Dermatology or Infectious Diseases

When selecting a doctor, you want someone who specializes in treating cold sores and other skin conditions. Dermatologists are trained to treat common skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, and herpes lesions.

These doctors understand the diagnosis and treatment options available for cold sores and their potential complications. Infectious disease specialists also offer expertise in viral diseases like Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV).

They can provide advice on treatment strategies and medications to help reduce the activity of the virus. 

Reasons for Seeking Treatment from a Doctor

Quicker Recovery Time

When you visit your doctor for treatment of cold sores, they will be able to prescribe stronger medications than what you may find at the drugstore. This means that you’ll get relief faster, and your cold sore will heal more quickly.

Many doctors may also recommend lifestyle changes such as getting enough rest and taking steps to manage stress levels in order to help reduce breakouts in the future. 

More Effective Treatment Options

Your doctor can also provide advice on different treatment options that may be more effective than over-the-counter products. For example, antiviral medications such as acyclovir or valacyclovir can help reduce inflammation and speed up healing time.

In addition, topical creams and oral medications may be recommended for persistent or severe cases of cold sores. 

Avoid Complications

Seeking medical advice is especially important if you have any underlying health conditions or weakened immune system that could potentially complicate your cold sore symptoms.

The infection can spread beyond the original area if not treated properly, so it’s best to consult a doctor who can assess your individual needs and provide personalized recommendations for how best to address them. 

When to Seek Immediate Medical Attention for Cold Sores?

Uncontrollable Pain

Pain is one of the primary symptoms of a cold sore. However, if the pain is so severe that you cannot control it with over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Then it may be a sign of something more serious, and you should seek medical attention right away. Severe pain could indicate an infection, which can become dangerous if left untreated. 

Severe Fever

A fever is also another symptom associated with cold sores. Generally speaking, a mild fever (100°F or less) is nothing to worry about. However, if your temperature rises above 101°F (38°C)

Then this could be an indication of something more serious, and you should seek medical help immediately. 

Signs of Infection

Cold sores are highly contagious, and if they become infected, they can spread beyond the affected area and cause further complications such as swelling, redness, pus buildup, etc.

If you notice any signs of infection around your cold sore, then seek medical attention right away, as this can quickly develop into something more serious if not attended timely. 

Non-Responsive Symptoms to Home Remedies or Over-the-Counter Medications

In some cases, home remedies or over-the-counter medications may not effectively treat your cold sore symptoms. This could be due to an underlying health condition such as diabetes or HIV/AIDS that makes it difficult for your body to fight off the virus causing the cold sore.

If this is the case, then you should seek medical attention right away in order to get proper treatment for both the cold sore and any underlying issues you may have. 


Cold sores are painful and inconvenient, but they don’t have to slow you down too much if you know where to turn for proper treatment!

If you have any of the symptoms or conditions listed above or if your cold sore won’t respond to home remedies and over-the-counter medications, then it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. 

Your doctor can provide advice on different treatment strategies and medications to help reduce the activity of the virus, so don’t hesitate to reach out for help! By doing so, you can ensure a faster recovery and reduce the risk of any further complications. 

We hope that this article has been helpful in providing you with guidance on how to find the right doctor for cold sores. Good luck, and stay healthy!