3 1/2 Year Old Has a Cold Sore!

Updated on August 03, 2010
J.D. asks from Lake Forest, CA
9 answers

So I noticed this little mark under my 3 1/2 year old's lip yesterday and this morning it is a little bigger and is blister-like. I think it's a cold sore. I get them from time to time, so I know that the virus can just be in your system, but I didn't think he would start getting them so young. Has anyone ever seen a child this young get one? Can I put something like Abreva on it, or should I take him to the doctor?

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Los Angeles on

Could be impetigo, too. My friend's daughter had it recently and it started right where you're describing.

More Answers



answers from Las Vegas on

the virus that causes cold sores is most commonly contracted from the mother and not some girl he kisses in Jr High!! Thay say it is because mom's share their drinks with their kids and when the binky hits the floor and there isn't a sink in sight we put it in our mouths to clean it. In fact one article I read said that the virus would be much less common if this transmission between mother and child didn't happen. So if all us mom's would never share with our little ones we could practically wipe the virus out. The article was written by a man.....suprise. I do use it as an excuse not to share with my son because he always has some sort of icky junk on his face!! Using a warm compress usually eases discomfort and some people say that eating yogurt with live cultures can help the mouth/digestive tract keep the right balance of bacteria therefor keeping the immune system in better shape. I know that yogurt works for sores inside the mouth because I use it and have seen results but I'm unsure about cold sores because they are different from sores that you get inside your mouth. Keeping his immune system in top shape will give his body the ability to keep the cold sore virus suppressed. I'd call the doc to make sure the abreva is ok if it is a product that has worked for you. If it gets severe they can give him something orally.



answers from Erie on

You can shed the virus even if you do not have an active sore, so it's very possible to pass on the virus without a sore being present. Over 80% of the population has been exposed, so this is nothing to freak out about. Go see your doctor and find out if Abreva is ok to use, because I know from experience it works very well. L-lysine supplements work very well. I wouldn't put undiluted tea tree oil on the skin, as it can burn/irritate it, but you can dilute it in something like olive oil, check out natural health websites to find out the dilution ratio. And, like the other poster said, keep his immune system strong and healthy with a good diet and vitamin supplements, he will experience fewer outbreaks.

Good luck.


answers from Boca Raton on

Unfortunately my son got herpes simplex 1 (that's a cold sore) around his eye at the age of 2.5 :0( It started out as a bump and the doctors thought it was a sty.. After giving him antibiotics and it not working (because herpes is viral) they sent me to a eye doctor who cultured it and told me it was herpes simplex 1.. He could of gotten it from ANYWHERE....So yes, they can most definitely get it at a young age.. Good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

Sadly, my little boy has been getting cold sores (and related tongue cankersores) since he was almost 2 years old (he's now almost 3). Such a bummer virus, but now that we know he is prone to such cold sores, we know to go to the pediatrician as soon as we see one forming and get a prescription for Acyclovir, which shortens the duration and severity. I believe the other topical OTC ointments and creams only temporarily alleviate the symptoms. Curiously, my DH and I have never had cold sores, but as most people carry the latent virus, you never know who will manifest the symptoms. In any case, since it's just so sad to see our little boy not being able to eat properly because his mouth really hurts, we've found that the Acyclovir worked well for him ... Good luck.



answers from Los Angeles on

The easiest and quickest way to thwart a cold sore forming completely is to get an ICE CUBE and put it directly on the lip....or wherever it is starting...as soon as you feel the first TINGLE of the cold sore forming. In the case of your toddler, it will have to be as SOON as you first notice any redness, swelling or whatever!

I have had them-and fought them-since I was a kid and this is the easiest and cheapest method you can use. Just put the ice directly on the sore and hold it there as long as you can tolerate it. Wrap the ice cube in a napkin and let the toddler hold it himself...he will not leave it long enough to damage the skin! Do this every few minutes and you will soon see/feel the difference....no more tingling, no more redness, no more swelling!

Honestly, it DOES work! I took Acyclovir (very expensive!) for years to avoid breaking out because I had atypical outbreaks on my nose, on my chin, cheeks, weird places! No more...now I grab an ice cube and within the hour all signs and symptoms are GONE!!

Good luck to all of you...they really are miserable to live with, but we don't have to do it anymore! Just grab the ice and freeze it away!



answers from Los Angeles on

my daughter who is now 11 has been getting them since the age of 4. I took her to the doctor and was told that her adrenaline is what was causing them so I started to take notes on when she got them, any time she was excited about something they would just pop up, so around her birthday, Christmas you name it she got one. i tried using those over the counter meds but they would burn her lip and leave scabs so what I have been using and what seems to work is Carmax. it won't take them away but it will shorten the time.
good luck :)



answers from Indianapolis on

Talk to the doctor before you do anything. Abreva, while over the counter, may not be approved for a child that young and is certainly formulated for an adult dosage vs. a young child's.

If you've kissed him or given him a drink/bite of food while you had an active lesion, it's completely possible to have passed it along to him. As a virus, there's no cure, only treatment, and the opportunity to shorten the time of infection.

Lyseine products are most often recommended, but because of his age, I would not treat until you know, for sure, that it's recommended by your pediatrician and won't cause more risks than benefits.



answers from Atlanta on

HI J.,

No one gets cold sores unless their immune system is compromised (thus the name....usually you get them after an illness before you're back on your feet.) High grade tea tree oil will clear it up in a few days. Your little one also needs to be on an absorbable multivitamin/mineral complex. I can recommend one if you like. Avoid the Flintstone and Flintstone types at Walmart as they actually break down the immune system by causing free radicals. Free radicals leave your body wide open for major diseases.

At three, I wouldn't try anything else. L-Lysine for an adult helps. It's the amino acid that is depleted in illness that allows the sore to develop. If you replenish the L-Lysine the sore will go away. Remember his immune system is low so he's susceptible to other things right now as well.

God bless,