The symptoms that you are describing are that of a cold sore. Do not kiss while you have this, because it is very contagious when the virus is active.
You can get over the counter medications for cold sores. But unfortunately there is no cure.
It is the Herpes Zoster virus that causes it, and once we have had it, it lies dormant in our body. Chicken Pox and Shingles is another form of the same virus.
Do you notice that it flares up when your immune system is a bit on the low side like when you have a cold?
Maybe it is herpes I cold sore? The tingling and scabbing at the end sounds like it and it starts as a small sore. Maybe it is just a little different. I don't know why it would be at night that it swells. It is just a guess. You could have a doctor take a swab of it for testing.
We can't see it so hard to say exactly but from what you describe it sounds like the classic description for herpes. Nothing to worry about. If it really bothers you, ask your doctor for acyclovir. When you feel it coming on its a good idea to stop kissing people
I don't agree with the other post. Cold sores are caused by the Herpes simplex virus type 1 not by Herpes zoster. Yes Herpes zoster can cause skin lesions on the face and eye. But you describe classic cold sore caused by Herpes simplex. It is quite common and about 80% of adults have it. It does go away sooner if you use a topical or pill form of acyclovir. If you really want to know, best to get it cultured. Acyclovir will help clear it up. Herpes zoster or shingles only breaks out a maximum of 3 times in your life if you get it. You can get it at an early age but usually you get after 50 and more likely after 60. And, yes do not kiss anyone when you have it until the blister goes away. Over the counter meds not work very well. They will work for a short time then the virus gets resistant to them. Also, OTC products for cold sores won't work on Herpes zoster. I think there must have been a mistake in the former posters naming of the virus.
My apologies, thank you for spotting the error. Herpes Simplex causes the cold sores.
Herpes zoster causes the shingles; varicella zoster causes the chicken pox.
A person who gets chicken pox, will not as a general rule get chicken pox again, but the virus may reactivate many years later as shingles (Herpes zoster) which attacks the nerve ends.
Either way whichever form your get, once you get the virus it lies dormant in the body.
You cannot catch shingles from a person with chicken pox. But someone who has not had chicken pox can get infected by the weeping spots from the person with shingles as well as get infected by any towels or sheets that had been contaminated with the weeping sores.
Unfortunately there is no way to prevent getting the Herpes Simples virus. But do not allow anyone with a cold sore to kiss you or vice versa, as this spreads the virus. Just before cold sores appear you may notice a tingling sensation on the lips, the virus is contagious when the spots are formed and weeping.
Yes I figured it was a mistake. No problemo...