Cold sore and immunity levels

Poor S has had yet another cold sore pop up. She's very susceptible to them and they appear around every 6 weeks to 2 months it seems.  This has been going on since she was around 3-4 years old (see this post).  Today, I took her to a new doctor who has joined our practice and he took a good look at it today.

The problem has been that because they crust over so quickly, they've been mistaken for Impetigo (see this post) on more than one occasion.  It's jolly hard getting an appointment with a doctor during the week, never mind on a weekend when they flare up!  So, consequently, hardly any doctor has ever seen the 'blister' stage. I really must remember to photograph the next one immediately.  

S is really good about them. She recognises the 'tingle' now and we get Zovirax on straight away.  Fortunately for us, this doctor also prescribed some for her now too so we can get that on repeat.  He also said that there seems to be a secondary infection that does look rather impetigo-ish.  However, because it happens every time she gets a cold sore, it's unlikely to be impetigo itself but the crusting is more unusual.  Subsequently, because the skin at the bottom of her lip/mouth is so sensitive now, almost anything can cause the cold sore to emerge.  What's worse this time - as you may have noticed - is that she has one for the first time ever on her top lip too.  Poor little soul. She keeps catching that one on her toothbrush, towel, fork...just about everything that touches your lips.  He's given her antibiotics for the secondary infection too.

The doctor has said he would like to check her immunity by doing a blood test as well as she may have an issue there. I'm glad that he's looking at other things to try and work out why she gets these so much.  Shame we can't get a blood test until the end of next month (literally, the very last day!) but at least we have one booked and may get to the bottom of the recurring cold sores.  I just hope the top lip one is a 'one-off' occurrence.  

S is 7 now and very conscious of her cold sores.  She says people ask her at school what it is and does it hurt.  She would rather they didn't notice.  She loves to try and hide it with a Compeed patch when it's not crusty, but at this stage in it's decline, it's quite hard to hide. 

Let's hope we get to the bottom of the cold sores this time.


  1. Hi I don't know if you remember I wrote on your blog a few years back as my daughter sufferers from recurrent cold sores as well. I kept a diary of every breakout as it was every 4- 6 weeks and then went to the dr with it. The dr prescribed 3 months worth of acivlovair tablets. 400mg twice per day and they could be dissolved in water. We started in late October. This broke the cycle. As she never had another sore until July... Then another October last year. She had just had another out break on her top lip due to the fact she had been in a swimming pool and in the sun all week. She is 12 and very self conscious. The dr said it brings the viral load down and allows the immune to get on top of the virus. Hopefully your new dr will prescribe some.

    1. Sadly we had her immunity levels checked and they were all fine (I know it's odd to be sad about that but I was really hoping we'd get to the bottom of it). We just have Zovirax cream on repeat prescription for her now but fortunately she's not had an outbreak for a couple of months. I'll almost guarantee though that she'll have one just as school starts again. Thanks for getting back in touch! So glad to hear about your daughter's improvement.

  2. I don't think there is much of an answer, we tried everything I guess some people are just prone to them more than others.
    I don't think I have ever had one in my life, but both hubbie and daughter have both got one at the moment (hubbies is buried on his lip so can't be seen) my daughters looks like your daughter really viable on the skin. Do ask for the tablets they may help, kids get the tablets for chicken pox so are completely safe - but may just break the cycle Xx


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