How to beat the cold sore blues
For anyone who has experienced cold sores, you know how debilitating they can be. As well as making you feel unattractive and miserable, they are usually accompanied by a general sense of being tired, run down, anxious and stressed.
They often appear at important times in our lives – when we are taking exams, getting married, on holidays, and facing personal and professional milestones, which just adds to the anxiety of the occasion!
But how can you avoid them and how can you treat them if you become infected?
Firstly, it is important to understand what cold sores are. Cold sores are fluid-filled blisters, which usually occur around the mouth and lips, caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). You can get the virus via skin-to-skin contact, such as kissing, or by sharing lipstick or a razor that has been used by someone with the virus. Once you contract HSV, it lives in your body for the rest of your life, to be triggered by the aforementioned stressful situations.
There are two types of herpes virus – HSV1 (usually occurring around the mouth) and HSV2 (usually occurring around the genitals). It is important to ensure that if you have HSV1 or HSV2 that you refrain from making physical contact with others at the blister site and that you maintain a good level of hygiene, as the blisters can be spread easily through contact, and can also become infected from bacteria. For instance, if you touch the blisters with your fingers and then touch your eyes, you could risk visual impairment.
But how do you avoid getting the virus in the first place? Well, ideally you should not make physical contact with someone who has obvious signs of cold sores – this could be difficult as a child, but certainly is avoidable as an adult.
If you have been unfortunate enough to contract the virus, there are a few steps you can take to avoid an outbreak:
- Ensure you keep your immunity levels high with enough sleep, eating well, exercise and avoiding other sick people! If necessary, take an immunity-boosting supplement such as the health drink Elite, which contains anti-oxidants and immune-boosting nutrients, such as L-Lysine . L-Lysine has been shown to be effective in avoiding HSV1 outbreaks. It can’t be synthesised by the body so we must obtain it through our diet.
- Develop effective stress management techniques
- Use a good quality, 50+ SPF in the sun, and lip balms in the wind and cold
If you find yourself with an outbreak, there are a number of effective creams on the market that can help to minimise the impact, but importantly, you need to start applying them as soon as you feel that ‘tingling’ feeling.
So, there is no need to spoil your everyday sense of health and well-being, particularly on important occasions and when you are on holidays, by being inflicted by cold sores! Take action now to avoid cold sores spoiling your joy of life!
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