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Anonymous on September 16, 2011

Are these peach-colored bumps inside my mouth herpes?

I have peach-colored bumps on the inside of my cheeks that were diagnosed as herpes. I’ve had them for over five weeks, and they haven’t gotten any better or worse. Is five weeks an unusually long time to have open herpes sores?

answered by Terri Warren, MS, RN, ANP on September 16, 2011

That’s a good question, and I’ll do my best to help. 

First, there are a few ways to diagnose oral herpes...for example, by a visual exam; or by a swab test (when a doctor takes a small sample from a bump or sore to test it). 

If you don’t remember how you were diagnosed, I would encourage you to speak with your doctor about it. If you were diagnosed by a visual examination only, it would be my suggestion to get a swab test to confirm that diagnosis. Once the results come back, you’ll know if you really have herpes or a different problem. 

Although you may have oral herpes, there are some inconsistencies between an oral herpes infection and the symptoms you describe. For one, oral herpes doesn't normally create bumps inside the mouth. Instead, the bumps (or tiny blisters that quickly turn into open sores) will usually be on the outside of the mouth...on or around the lips, nose or chin, just like cold sores. 

Second, oral herpes outbreaks usually don’t stick around for five weeks without getting better or worse. Instead, they’ll generally scab over after a few days and disappear within two weeks. 

Bottom line? The best way to know for sure whether you have herpes or another condition is to get tested. You can also learn more about herpes symptoms and testing in our Expert Guide to Herpes 1 + 2

Thanks for sharing your question, and I hope you’ll soon get to the root cause of the bumps inside your cheeks.

Related info:

Terri Warren, MS, RN, ANP

Warren is a Nurse Practitioner and owner of Westover Heights Clinic in Oregon. She is a renown expert and author in the field of genital herpes research, diagnosis and treatment. Warren was educated at Oregon Health and Sciences University and the University of Portland.

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