Cold sores have very recognizable features. They are most often diagnosed by physical exam and by your medical history. If your doctor is not sure, a sample of the fluid or tissue from the blister may be taken. A blood sample may also be taken for testing.
Testing may include any of the following:
Cold sores. Nemours Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/common/cold_sores.html. Updated February 2014. Accessed February 17, 2014.
Herpes simplex. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/contagious-skin-diseases/herpes-simplex. Accessed February 14, 2014.
Oral herpes. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115104/Oral-herpes. Updated October 5, 2015. Accessed October 4, 2016.
Last reviewed March 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board David L. Horn, MD Last Updated: 3/15/2015