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Dr. Abby
Dr. Abby, US Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 10330
Experience:  Family Physician practicing medicine for over 10 years, United States
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I had a cold sore. It was almost healed. I picked the scab

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I had a cold sore. It was almost healed. I picked the scab and even though the original cold core is gone a have over a quarter sized area around it that has red bumps that looks rashy what is going on?
Hello,

Is the rash itchy?
Any pain?
Pustules/whiteheads?
Any crusting?
Is it getting worse/better?

Dr Abby
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
The rash began last night and did not itch but has began itching in the past seven hours, no pain just itches, its getting worse, and each individual bump has a little crusting that when I clean my face produces white liquid of some sort until it crusts again
Thank you for the information,

I suspect one of two things.
First would be a reaction to one of the creams you have been applying. Allergic reactions typically cause itching and red bumps but do not cause whitish discharge, so this is less likely.

Second is a bacterial infection that has developed. This seems more likely given the symptoms you have described (pus like discharge/crusting). The treatment for the is either a topical antibiotic ointment called bactroban (prescription) or oral antibiotics depending on the extent/severity.

I would avoid applying any steroid creams/aloe vera at this point and only wash with a mild soap and water.
If you can see a doctor today, that would be ideal. If not, you can try using an antibiotic ointment over the counter (triple antibiotic cream) although prescription is usually required. If there is any worsening, go to an urgent care.

Feel free to ask any follow up questions you may have,

Dr Abby

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
One more thing and thank you so much for your help! If I dont have insurannce and can not see a doctor what can I do on my own to help it heal and will it go away on its own?
What I would do is try applying warm compresses three times per day and apply the triple antibiotic ointment (as mentioned above).
I usually tell patients to avoid neosporin as it can cause a skin reaction in some people.

Wash with mild soap and water only.

Signs that you do need to have it looked at:
Increasing swelling/spreading redness
Fever
Pain

Dr Abby

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Okay I forgot to mention that the past two to three days when the cold sore scabbed over I used triple antibiotic ointment to speed up the healing! Could this have caused the issue I am now experiencing around the cold sore area?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Oh and I put white liquid when I meant to put clear the liquid is clear that comes from the bumps

If you have been using the antibiotic ointment prior to the rash developing, I would stop it.
It is possible you are having a reaction to the ointment.

Also, thank you for clarifying the liquid color, that makes infection less likely. If the bumps appear blister like with clear fluid, it can be a sign of an allergic reaction.

What I would do is apply warm compresses to the area and simply watch it.
If it does not get better with the compresses, mild soap and water then it is going to have to be looked at.

You can also try using an antihistamine pill (not cream) for itching/allergy like benadryl, zyrtec or claritin.

Dr Abby

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