What Not to do if a Cold Sore Breaks Out

A cold sore outbreak requires a calm and measured approach to healing the sore effectively. Stress is a known cause of outbreaks, so panicking will only make things worse. There are ways to shorten the length and severity of an outbreak and to prevent any scarring of the skin. Here are several examples of what not to do if properly managing the blemish from the start is the goal.

Share With Others
This is one time when sharing is a bad idea. Never share cosmetics, hand towels or facecloths with someone else during an outbreak. It is, of course, never a good idea to share a toothbrush or allow someone to drink from the same bottle or use the same silverware. During an outbreak, this is even less advisable. Mothers with small children need to remember this and use a separate spoon or fork when temperature testing their child’s food.

Neglect Good Hygiene
Keep the skin around the sore clean without scrubbing the sore directly. Wash hands frequently during the day. This does not only apply to when using the restroom or before meals. Cold sore sufferers need to become chronic hand-washers during a breakout to prevent any spread of the lesions to others or on their own skin. Absentmindedly touching the sore and then shaking hands or grasping a doorknob could be enough to pass on the virus.

Eat Spicy Food
Spicy foods can both cause an outbreak and make an existing sore worse. Spicy food can irritate sores and causes discomfort and increased redness and swelling. It is advisable to avoid all of these foods during the entire outbreak (from the initial tingle as it develops) and to restrict consumption of them the remainder of the time.

Get a Tan
The sunshine will not “dry out” the sore faster or help to camouflage it. Exposure to the sun is another common cold sore trigger. Too many UV rays are believed to slow down the immune system and allow the body to be susceptible to problems like cold sores. Spending 10-15 minutes a day in the sun helps to boost moods and provide Vitamin D. More than that could lead to skin damage.

Attack the Sore
Popping the blisters, pouring alcohol or other drying agents over the blemish and picking at the scabs could cause infection and scarring. In almost every case it will result in a swollen, red and angry looking sore that will take longer to become unnoticeable. Instead, use cold compresses, eat healthily and use The Inhibitor to shrink the blemish faster. OTC medications to numb the pain can also help to keep hands away from the sore.

Knowing what not to do is often more important than any other tip. It is the best way to avoid lengthening an outbreak, causing new sores to appear or sharing the misery with someone else. Avoiding sunlight, stress and spicy foods at the first tingle may help to prevent the development of the sore, and The Inhibitor is also useful in these early stages as well.