As someone who’s been dealing with cold sores my entire life, here is everything I’ve learned about them!
Cold Sores Are Common
Cold sores aka herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), is more common than you think. In fact over 67% of the population are infected with them. Let’s end the stigma! It took me a long time to get over being embarrassed of them, I’ve been teased about them more times than I can count. There just came a point in my life, I didn’t give a crap what others thought about them. The only thing I could control was preventing them, and dealing with them when they popped up.
Yes, cold sores are contagious, but so are a lot of things. Practice good hygiene. Don’t drink off others, or share products(or food) whether you have an outbreak or not. If you have a cold sore, or someone else does, don’t kiss or share anything. Although if you have a cold sore, I’m sure the last thing you want to do is have something touch it – ouch! People who don’t get cold sores, don’t know how painful they are.
Know the Triggers
This might change, or take you some time to learn. For the most part, triggers look pretty similar to everyone who gets cold sores. Stress, weather changes, weakened immune systems. Once you’ve figured out your triggers, you can help prevent them.
Pay attention to your body. I’ve got an unusual trigger, one I learned as an adult. If I get a zit or blackhead right next to my lip, I need to leave it alone because if I try popping it a cold sore will form in that exact spot within the next day or two. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because I’m irritating the skin, I don’t know?
How I prevent & treat a cold sore?
I’ve got a few items that I keep on hand, should a cold sore arrive. My solution’s for preventative care, and treatment. All of these are over the counter items, talk to your doctor if the home remedies or OTC stuff isn’t working.
• It all starts with supporting my immune system, and health. I take daily supplements to help my stress level; CBD & 5 HTP are musts! I do everything I can to not get sick, with daily elderberry.
• Another supplement that’s a must for me is l-lysine. I try to take it everyday, and it helps tremendously. Just a warning. When buying l-lysine supplements, pay attention to the form they come in. They run on the bigger side, and the capsules are A LOT easier to swallow. Don’t go for the tablets!
“Lysine may help to slow down or prevent the growth of the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), which is responsible for cold sores. HSV-1 requires arginine, which is another amino acid, to grow. Lysine helps prevent the body from absorbing arginine, making it difficult for HSV-1 to grow and reproduce.”- Medical News Today
• If sun is a trigger for your cold sores, limit the exposer. Wear sunblock, and use chapstick with SPF. If it’s cold out; wear a mask, limited the time spent outdoors in winter.
• When you’ve lived your whole life with getting cold sores, you start to be able to feel when one’s coming on. Your lip starts to get a little tingling feeling. I will immediately put an ice pack/cold compress on it for like 15 minutes. It usually helps reduce it.
• If you get cold sores, a weakened immune system – when you catch a cold – is a huge trigger! Try keeping your immune system strong, especially during cold and flu season. I take elderberry daily during the school year, drink teas that help your immune system, Omega 3, Vitamin D, and I take stuff to help my gut health(digestive enzymes, apple cider vinegar). Anything that will help me stay strong and healthy.
• Let’s talk ointments, and topical creams. For treating your cold sore after it’s shown it’s ugly face. I’ll get real honest here! For most of my life I would buy antiviral OTC meds like Abreva. Over the past couple years that’s changed; they just became too expensive, and I felt like I was buying it with every new cold sore. That’s when I decided to try Tea Tree Oil. What a game changer! The healing process is so much quicker then any other OTC med I’ve tried.
You’ll want to dilute the tea tree oil. Just get a qtip wet with water, then add a drop of Tea Tree Oil essential oil, and dab on your cold sore. It dries the cold sore up so quickly, and your cold sore will be gone within a couple days.
Do you get cold sores? Have a home remedy that works?
Disclaimer: Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider regarding a medical condition. This post contains affiliate links.