Cold sores are painful, embarrassing and frustrating but they are usually nothing more than a temporary complication. Understanding more about why they happen and what may stop them is the only way to manage a chronic condition. Nearly everyone has the virus that causes the blemishes but only a minority of that group actually experiences regular outbreaks. Here are some valuable lessons for those unfortunate souls as well as the occasional sufferers.
Cold sores are not actually out to get certain people.
It will seem that way. First date? Cold sore. Important business meeting? Cold sore. Getting married? Cold sore. Every important moment can seem marred by the appearance of the stinging blisters. So, while it may seem as if this is a plague sent by an angry God – it is not. Think about what all of these types of events have in common. It is stress. One of the most common cold sore triggers is stress. Learning to identify triggers like this can help to avoid future outbreaks.
There is nothing wrong with people that get cold sores or with their hygiene.
Perfectly normal, healthy and clean people still get cold sores. This is more important for the people that never get the lesions to remember more than the actual sufferers. Cold sores are something that anyone is at risk of getting and it is really just a lottery pick about who actually does. Unfortunately, the prize in this lottery is a weeping sore and not a lifetime of soup.
They did not kiss the wrong person.
People love to use this as a way to shame people for their “naughty” behavior when a cold sore appears. No, they did not lock lips with the wrong person. Okay, they probably did at some point in their lives, but that is totally unrelated to the cold sore. The majority of people actually catch the virus in early childhood. So, maybe they did get it through a kiss from their mom and it is always right to let your mom give you a kiss.
Doctors help but there may be a better solution.
Prescription medications numb the pain and shave a couple days off the life of the cold sore. Some preventative treatments that are available without a prescription may stop the lesion from forming at all. The Inhibitor is a device that uses a small electrical charge to interrupt blemish growth and it has been an effective tool for many long term sufferers. In addition, balancing the diet, reducing stress and cutting sun exposure may also reduce the frequency of outbreaks.
Cold sores are contagious and people need to be cautious around infants during an outbreak.
Cold sores are contagious to everyone but babies are the most likely to become seriously ill from the virus. Holding the child (with clean hands only) is acceptable. Giving them a peck on the cheek is not. This same guideline is also true with people that do not have a healthy immune system.