Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Cold Sores Evaluation

The evaluation of cold sores begins with a medical history and physical examination.

The diagnosis of cold sores can be made on physical examination.

Testing may be performed to confirm the diagnosis.

Tests that may be used to evaluate cold sores may include:

  • A viral culture
  • Tzanck smear
    • A special stain is added to a tissue specimen on a slide can confirm herpes infection in questionable cases.
  • Serum antibody titers can detect herpes simplex

Continue to Cold Sores Treatment

Last Updated: Dec 8, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Cold Sores References
  1. Arduino PG, Porter SR. Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 infection: overview on relevant clinico-pathological features. J Oral Pathol Med. 2008 Feb;37(2):107-21. [18197856]
  2. Elish D, Singh F, Weinberg JM. Therapeutic options for herpes labialis, I: Oral agents. Cutis. 2004 Jul;74(1):31-4. [15293697]
  3. Elish D, Singh F, Weinberg JM. Therapeutic options for herpes labialis, II: Topical agents. Cutis. 2004 Jul;74(1):35-40. [1529369]
  4. Waggoner-Fountain LA, Grossman LB. Herpes simplex virus. Pediatr Rev. 2004 Mar;25(3):86-93. [14993516]
  5. Worrall G. Herpes labialis. Clin Evid. 2004 Dec;(12):2312-20. [15865790]
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