COLD SORES: THE BEST WAYS TO DEAL WITH THEM
Not only are they embarrassing, uncomfortable and occur at the worst possible time, cold sores are one of the most common of all transmitted viruses, infecting at least 70 per cent of the world’s population.
The cold sore originates from a herpes simplex virus which infects the face and mouth and is the most common form of the disease.
The virus is highly contagious and can spread not only by kissing or facial contact but also via general household items such as face towels, straws, cutlery and razor blades.
Although cold sore triggers vary from person to person, there are a number of common provokers. Stress, illness, sunburn, windburn, UV light including tanning salons, some food allergies and excessive rubbing of the skin are amongst the most common triggers.
Symptoms of cold sores begin with a tingle, irritation, or burning feeling at the site of infection and the appearance of two or three blisters shortly after. These may remain on the skin for 3-7 days prior to breaking and forming a yellow scab. Once the scab falls off, generally no scar is left behind and the skin grows back healthy and normal.
Preventing colds sores is relatively simple:
- Keep the sore dry and clean.
- Apply sunscreen and UV protective lip balm to the face and lips.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Avoid sharing cutlery, cups, glasses, water bottles, towels, face washers and razors.
- Avoid triggers such as sunlight, tanning salons, windburn and dry lips.
Products that help to prevent or treat cold sores include:
- Lysine – is an amino acid based supplement that subdues the herpes simplex virus and reduces the number and severity of outbreaks.
- Products such as Zovirax and other anti-viral creams may be of use in the treatment of cold sores.