ZocdocAnswersDo whiteheads accompany coldsores?

Question

Do whiteheads accompany coldsores?

It seems like every time I have a really bad cluster of herpes blisters on my mouth, I also get whiteheads alongside them. Is this actually a side effect of the herpes, or is it just a different problem that I'm conflating? It doesn't seem like a coincidence, and I've had oral herpes for years.

Answer

Physicians that treat oral herpes or acne can be a primary care physician such as a family doctor or a specialist such as a dermatologist. As you know, oral herpes is an infection with the Herpes Simplex Virus (usually type 1). Oral herpes is a very distinctive infection, and if it has been diagnosed by a physician then you'll know when you have an outbreak and when you don't. Since these outbreaks of herpes blisters and these whiteheads occur at the same time, I think they are most likely related. It is not a typical problem, but it is possible. What may be happening is that when you have an outbreak, your skin integrity is damaged making your pores suddenly more susceptible to blockage resulting in the formation of these pimples. If this is the case, than their best treatment will be to keep the herpes infections from flaring up. You should talk to your doctor about getting on some preventative medications. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician whenever you have this simultaneous outbreak of the blisters and whiteheads. He or she can examine you and determine whether you need further evaluation by a dermatologist. Good luck.

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