The symptoms are different depending on whether it is the first time a person is getting cold sores. The first attack of cold sores usually happens during childhood.
The first time a person gets cold sores, the symptoms may last up to 12 days and can include:
- Painful blisters on the lips, mouth, nose, or throat, which eventually pop and form scabs
- Mouth and throat pain
- Swelling in the neck
- Fever, body aches, and feeling ill
After the first time, pain and blisters can come back, but the other symptoms do not usually happen again. Plus, the symptoms are usually milder and don’t last as long. Some people can tell when their cold sores are going to come back. They feel pain, burning, tingling, or itching on their lips about a day before blisters form.