Canker sores (or cold sores) usually form on the inside of the mouth and start off as red bumps. After several days, the pimple-like bump will pop, turning into a white or yellowish crater. It can make eating and drinking difficult and may cause minor lip swelling.
While canker sores can't be completely concealed, there are some things you can do immediately after one appears to shrink its size and decrease the length of time it will last.
One of the first things you can do is to reduce the swelling. Numb it using an ice cube wrapped in a moist towel. This will also help dull any pain you may be experiencing. Avoid touching the canker sore and the area around it; touching it will only increase the swelling and draw attention to your mouth.
While there are natural remedies to help kill the bacteria that cause cankers (think salt and water, Milk of Magnesia), the best idea is to invest in a powerful over-the-counter medication, like the ones offered by Orajel.
Unless your canker sore is obvious to a person (on the tip of your lip or on your gumline), it may not be worth mentioning to close friends or family. If you're planning to kiss someone after the sore has broken open, it would be a good idea to mention it to your partner. Although cankers aren't contagious, the pressure applied to the lip through kissing could inflame the area.
One of the latest remedies to conceal canker sores is to use a canker sore cover. These medicated pads not only protect canker sores, they completely cover them using a clear patch. Learn more here.
Instead of highlighting your mouth with makeup when you have a canker sore, draw a person's eyes away from the region by highlighting other areas of your face: create a rosy glow on your cheeks with blush; go for a bold, smoky eye; or wear dangly earrings. Drawing attention away from the area will make the swelling you're experiencing less noticeable.
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