Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Is my cold sore healing properly?"

ZocdocAnswersIs my cold sore healing properly?


Had a cold sore on my mouth and it healed but now there is a lot of redness where it was that won't go away. Is this normal? Is it a scar? How do I make the redness go away?


It's a good thing that your cold sore has healed, but any kind of skin change on the face can be very unsettling. When any kind of a break in the skin occurs, it is not unusual for there to be an area of redness (or erythema) as the skin heals. New skin is more fragile and delicate than the skin it replaced, and it can take some time for the redness to fade and the area to take on the color of the rest of your skin. Unfortunately, the only thing that will help this progression occur more quickly is time. However, there are other skin conditions that could give an appearance such as you describe. If you are concerned at all about the area, it would be a good idea to see your primary care physician who can then examine the area. Hopefully he or she will be able to reassure you that there is nothing wrong with the area and that it will go back to a normal color eventually. However, if there is any evidence of another underlying skin issue, your doctor can identify this and either recommend treatment or possibly have you see a dermatologist.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.