Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Herpes and Genital Warts Forum

Cold sore didn't scab - how do I know if it's gone?

I am almost positive I have/had a cold sore because it is in the exact same location as the previous time I had a cold sore. I was given Valtrex, and have also been using Abreva. It's been about two weeks now, and the bumps have mostly gone away, but I still see very very slight bumps and I'm not sure if they are still cold sores or just natural imperfections of the skin / chapped lips.

I thought it would have scabbed and healed by now, but it never scabbed. Is there a chance that cold sores could heal without scabbing? As in they would just be all better before they even got to the scabbing stage? Should I be worried that it hasn't changed? The sores don't hurt at all either. But I feel like they must be cold sores, it just feels like a very very long beginning phase.

I have been holding off on oral sex with my partner, but I don't know if it's even a problem. The bumps are barely noticeable - I can only see them when I look closely in the mirror. What do you think I should do?
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replied May 5th, 2013
Especially eHealthy
kate6,

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), type I. Since you were taking an antiviral medicine, you may have stopped the outbreak before it reached the crusting stage.

But, cold sores are never completely "healed" or "cured", though the sore may resolve. The virus continues to live in the body for the rest of the patient's life, which is why patients will have periodic outbreaks.

But, the virus is only contagious during the stage of an outbreak where there is a clear fluid oozing from the sore (which contains the virus).

If the sore is healed over, you are most likely not contagious anymore. Occasionally, patients will have a small "scar" (or defect) where the virus seems to erupt from everytime they have an outbreak. That may be what you are now noticing.

Good luck.
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replied May 31st, 2014
Hi,

Six days ago i felt the tingling sensation you would normally feel when a cold sore is developing, after that it expanded as per norm and my bottom right lip swelled quickly, as soon as i felt the swell i bought Zovirax cold sore cream and applied it and followed the instructions. the "cold sore" hasn't developed at all in fact my lip is still at the same stage, though the swelling has reduced only slightly, why hasn't my lip blistered and scabbed? (I'm thankful it hasn't of course!)and why isn't the swelling gone if the cold sore isn't developing? finally because my lip is only swelled and i cannot see any blistering at all is it safe to kiss my girlfriend? i do not want her to catch this virus.
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