Seven Signs You Should Treat Your Cold Sores

The occasional cold sore outbreak during cold or flu season is something many people can shrug off and manage on their own. These are rare occurrences that fade away quickly and cause only a small amount of discomfort. However, this is not the experience that everyone has when a cold sore develops. For some people it is a problem that affects both their personal and professional lives. Here are some examples of when cold sores have gone beyond the nuisance stage and need a more proactive approach.

#1 – Missing out on social events.
Cancelling dates, avoiding lunch with friends or staying home rather than attending concerts or other activities means that cold sores are taking over your life. It is time to do something more when the embarrassment or the pain overtakes the desire to have fun.

#2 – Missing work because of a cold sore.
A single small outbreak is frustrating, but most people will power through their day. A little makeup or small bandage can shield the sore and be enough to disguise the small blemish. They become a costly liability when the sores are large, swollen or appear so often that people avoid their co-workers and make excuses for their absences.

#3 – Spending too much time and money on “cures”.
The Internet is a source of endless remedies. Most do not work and some are dangerous. When someone is constantly shopping for ingredients for their miracle salve or are using their free time each night to soak their face in lukewarm tea bags- it is time to realize that “secret” ancient remedies are not the answer.

#4 – Repeatedly experiencing breakouts.
The best reason to seek a genuinely effective answer is when cold sore outbreaks are happening more frequently. It is possible to withstand one or two experiences each year during cold or flu season. When the outbreaks happen monthly it is no longer something to ignore.

#5 – Previous cure attempts have resulted in scarring.
It is easy to forget how miserable a cold sore makes life until people start to see scars. When the pain of a sore and the disgust with how it looks encourages someone to pick at the blemish to eradicate it, even at the expense of their skin, a better solution is necessary.

#6 – You notice people without cold sores – and are jealous.
When the first thing someone notices about others is that they are cold sore-free, it is obvious that too much of their time and energy is devoted to managing this health concern. Cold sores do not deserve that much attention. Solutions are available that can make them a minimal concern.

#7 – The receptionist no longer asks why you are making an appointment with the doctor.
Repeated visits to the doctor for cold sores is not something to ignore. This is especially true if the outbreaks are becoming more severe and not just more frequent. Multiple sores appearing during an outbreak, repeated infections or large areas of redness and swelling are signs that the body is struggling to fight the virus on its own. As long as the doctor has made certain your immune system is healthy, the problem is likely that your body is just struggling to manage the constant strain from the repeated outbreaks. Finding a natural, more effective solution will give your immune system a rest.

Think You’re Cut Out For Fixing Your Fever Blisters?
Take This Quiz

Whether they are called fever blisters or cold sores anyone that has ever experienced one understands the discomfort and embarrassment that goes hand-in-hand with these unpleasant blemishes. The misery of them is easy to understand, but managing them is a little more difficult. Take this short quiz to see if you are ready to control your next potential outbreak.

True or False

  1. Fever blisters are not a concern if you avoid catching the flu or a cold.
  2. Kissing someone with a fever blister is the only way to catch one.
  3. Fever blisters can spread to any part of the body.
  4. Prescription medications cure cold sores.
  5. There are ways to prevent an outbreak.

Answers

  1. False.
    Despite being referred to as “fever blisters”, it is not necessary to have a fever or be ill to have an outbreak occur. The blemishes do appear more frequently when people are sick due to their weakened immune system, but avoiding illness will not guarantee a lesion-free face.
  2. False.
    Direct, skin-on-skin contact is the easiest transmission method, but not the only one. HSV-1 is a very contagious virus and it is passed through hand shaking, sharing drinking glasses and many other methods of indirect contact.
  3. True.
    It is very important to not touch a fever blister and to be certain to wash your hands thoroughly if you do. The fluid in the blisters contains the virus and if it is spread to other parts of the skin it is possible for another sore to develop at that location.
  4. False.
    Prescription medications help to relieve the discomfort of a cold sore and reduce the length of the outbreak by a few days. There is no cure for the virus and no way to become immune to future outbreaks.
  5. True.
    Preventing an outbreak is possible, but not guaranteed. Some individuals are able to control outbreaks by adding more milk to their diet because the l-lysine reduces the risk. Applying ice to the skin when the first tingle is felt may also prevent the sore from appearing. The Cold Sore Inhibitor, a device that uses a low voltage zap of electricity, has helped many to avoid outbreaks.

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.

Seven Unexpected Facts About Cold Sores


Long term cold sore sufferers know everything there is to know about the embarrassment, discomfort and frustration of dealing with an outbreak. That does not mean that they actually know everything about the virus, what it is capable of and its lengthy history. It is not necessary to know all of these things to manage chronic cold sores, but it never hurts to have all the facts.

#1. It is an ancient problem.

The Greek physician Hippocrates passed away nearly 2,400 years ago. He was the first person known to document the misery of cold sores. Little was understood about the lesions at that time. Herpes is a Greek word meaning “to creep or crawl” and it was chosen by Greek scholars to describe the contagious sores.

#2. Cold sores can spread to any part of the body.

Anyone with an active cold sore should be aware that they can cause their partners to develop a lesion on any spot of skin they allow to come in contact with the sore.

#3. Cosmetic procedures may lead to massive outbreaks.

Many people have heard the warning about cold sores and chemical peels. They may not realize that this warning should also include cosmetic injections, microdermabrasion and laser resurfacing. Any treatment that disturbs the skin could lead to an outbreak. This is why cold sore sufferers should always use a plastic surgeon or dermatologist for cosmetic treatments and should discuss their previous outbreaks with their doctor prior to any procedure.

#4. Flu-like symptoms often accompany a pending outbreak.

The familiar tingling pain on the lip that cold sore sufferers recognize as a sore developing is not the only potential warning signal. Flu-like symptoms like a sore throat, swollen glands or fever may also be present. These symptoms will often disappear after the sore develops.

#5. An emergency doctor visit may be necessary.

Resolving most outbreaks may require nothing more than the use of “The Inhibitor” or an anesthetic cream. Unfortunately, some lesions become infected and require an antibiotic to treat. The fluid in cold sores is normally thin and watery. If it thickens it means bacteria is present. A fever with pain or redness in the eye during an outbreak should also be taken seriously.

#6. There are pregnancy risks.

Cold sores often appear more frequently in women suffering from hormonal fluctuations. This is why women that occasionally suffer a cold sore may suddenly see them consistently popping up during their pregnancy. This is not an issue to ignore. HSV-1 has been identified as a cause of an increased risk of premature labor and miscarriages and may affect prenatal growth. The risk is small but worrisome enough that it must be discussed with an obstetrician.

#7. They go by many names.

Cold sores are frequently referred to as fever blisters. They are known to doctors as Herpes Labialis, Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 or the abbreviated version, HSV-1. Many sufferers also have a few profane names of their own that they use for the annoying blemishes. One name that is not used, or should not be, is canker sore. Many people mistakenly confuse canker sores and cold sores. These two lesions are entirely different with unique causes and treatments.

If you get cold sore outbreaks consider getting The Inhibitor, an effective device that helps prevent cold sores from breaking out.

24 Hours to Improving Fever Blisters

An important business meeting is coming up, a wedding is only days away or an interview for a dream job is scheduled to begin in 24 hours. What happens? A cold sore develops, of course. Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, do not need people to be sick to arrive. They thrive when stress levels increase and that, unfortunately, tends to be when a big event is planned. No one feels confident when they are sporting a sore on their face. That is why acting fast to eliminate the blemish before the big day is important. Luckily, it is possible to eliminate a cold sore in a few hours or block one from developing at all.

Step One: Buy Some Supplies

Purchase some genuine vanilla, some tea tree oil and a gallon of whole milk. Order The Inhibitor in advance. This device works for a variety of skin blemishes in addition to cold sores, so it is a handy appliance to keep in the home.

Step Two: Prepare the Body

Practice some stress relieving techniques like meditation or Yoga. Stay out of the sun because sun exposure encourages cold sore development and growth. Increase the consumption of whole milk, berries and foods rich in Vitamin C and E. Eat foods rich in zinc like red meat and oysters and avoid spicy foods. Use The Inhibitor every two or three hours on the spot where the sore is developing or on the actual lesion.

Step Three: Treat the Area

Continue to use The Inhibitor as directed. Alternate applying ice packs and cold milk compresses every couple of hours for sessions lasting about 10-15 minutes each. Between compresses add a few drops of tea tree oil or vanilla directly to the spot. Avoid applying vinegar, alcohol and other drying agents on lesions. These products can cause discomfort and will cause the skin to scab, become too dry and begin itching. Essential oils and vanilla are more comfortable and heal the skin without causing scarring or discomfort.

The worry is over if the cold sore is prevented from developing. Launder all hand towels and replace toothbrushes if the cold sore has developed before the effort begins. Doing this will help to prevent additional outbreaks. Devoting a day to treating a fever blister may seem overzealous, but it is the only way to eradicate the problem quickly.

9 Things Your Lover Wishes You Knew About Cold Sore Outbreaks

When casually dating it is easy to cancel when an cold sore appears, but it is not something to ignore once a relationship becomes exclusive. Explaining how you are a chronic cold sore sufferer is definitely something people dislike sharing with anyone. Even if the subject is mentioned the discussion many lack some information because of the embarrassment of the sufferer. For those dating someone with chronic cold sores who is hesitant to discuss the issue – here is the information they want you to know.

1.You probably already have the virus, but not necessarily from them.

HSV-1 is so common it is believed that anywhere from 60 to 90 percent of the adult population is infected. Most people catch the virus during childhood when kissed by a relative with the virus or while playing with a friend that has a cold sore.

2. It is contagious and a form of herpes, but it is not an STD.

Cold sores are passed to others through saliva and not through sexual contact. It is possible to spread the virus to other areas of the body, and oral to genital transmission is possible. However, it is still not an STD regardless of where the sores appear.

3. Catching the virus does not mean you will ever have a cold sore.

The reason why the statistics vary so greatly on HSV-1 infection is because of the number of people that have the virus in their body, but never experience any cold sores. Doctors will not necessarily test for the illness automatically other than during pregnancy.

4. Someone that has more outbreaks is not “sicker” than those that do not.

The virus is not stronger, more contagious or more dangerous in people who have frequent outbreaks. Medical experts still struggle to know why some people never experience outbreaks and others have constant problems. However, all of the research shows that the problem is different from one person to the next. People that catch the virus from someone that has never had a cold sore will not necessarily be as lucky.

5. During an outbreak physical affection may need to be limited.

HVS-1 can pass to others at any time, but the highest risk is during an outbreak. Avoiding contact with a cold sore may mean that kissing, and other forms of affection, have to be put on hold until the blemish goes away.

6. Sharing is great, sometimes.

It is a good idea to not share lip balm, drink containers and utensils during an outbreak. Avoid even pillows and scarves, mobile phones and anything else that come into close contact with the face during this period of time.

7. Good health matters a lot.

Preventing outbreaks means avoiding excessive stress, keeping the immune system strong and avoiding excessive amounts of the sun. While everyone will benefit from using sunblock, getting exercise and eating well, it is important to encourage cold sore sufferers to stay committed to these steps even more.

8. HSV-1 sounds scary, but it is rarely dangerous.

Very few people have serious problems with the virus that causes cold sores, but it can happen. Weakened immune systems due to illness or disease can lead to severe outbreaks. Rubbing the eyes after touching a blister could transmit the sore and lead to vision concerns. People with an active outbreak should stay away from babies and toddlers and anyone who knows they have the virus should be careful about kissing young children at any time.

9. Cold sore outbreaks are miserable, so be kind.

Cold sores burn, sting and ache. They may make it hard to eat or drink. People sometimes lose sleep. The embarrassment makes people hesitant to go to work or to social events. Please be patient and kind.

Understand Cold Sores Better Before There are Regrets

Maybe it started in childhood following a severe cold or later in life during a period of stress. The first cold sore often comes as a surprise, is miserable for a few days and gradually heals. These events are uncomplicated and manageable. It becomes a problem when suddenly they appear more often. They interrupt date night, become an embarrassment before a big meeting or just never seem to entirely disappear. This is when it is important to become educated about the reality of cold sores and how those that suffer from them can learn to protect themselves and prepare for the next outbreak.

Realize cold sores are contagious and can spread.

One of the most important facts people need to remember is how easy it is to spread cold sores. This includes spreading them to others and causing new outbreaks from one lesion. Avoid sharing towels, utensils or personal care items with anyone during an outbreak. Hand washing is more important than ever and do not touch any other part of the skin after touching a cold sore.

Cold sores are very dangerous to the young.

Anyone with an active cold sore should refrain from kissing infants. Always wash hands thoroughly before holding an infant. Babies are very susceptible to cold sore infections and the virus can spread through their systems rapidly. The infection can spread to the brain, the eyes and other organs and potentially cause permanent damage. There have been cases of infants dying from the infection.

Cold sore “cures” can lead to scarring.

Be cautious of the advice offered for curing a cold sore. Popping the blisters and applying a caustic material in an attempt to dry up the liquid faster could cause infection and scarring. Do not pick at the blisters or the scabs after they begin to heal. Ice packs, milk compresses and a thin layer of aloe vera can safely soothe and relieve the discomfort of a cold sore. These remedies and prescription and OTC medications may also help the sore to heal faster.

Infection is possible with cold sores.

Get medical help if the skin is red and warm beyond the lesion or if there is more pain than expected. Infection is possible and if it is not addressed quickly it could lead to serious health concerns, like any untreated infection. An antibiotic will help to heal the infection but it will not treat the cold sore.

It is possible to stop some cold sores from forming.

Chronic cold sore sufferers should not expect to never experience a cold sore again. A complete and total cure has not yet been discovered. That does not mean that people cannot find ways to stop the majority of their outbreaks and shorten the lifespan of cold sores that do emerge. Drink more whole milk, add Vitamin C to the diet and avoid acidic and spicy foods. Practice stress management techniques and wear sunblock. Purchase a device known as “The Inhibitor“. It is useful for a variety of skin blemishes and is safe to use on existing cold sores and areas where a sore seems to be forming.

Five Real-Life Lessons About Cold Sore Outbreaks

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.

The Biggest Problem With Cold Sores And How You Can Fix Them

Determining the biggest problem with cold sores is challenging. After all, there is so much about them to dislike. Cold sores are messy, unattractive and contagious. They cause pain, sometimes spread to other parts of the face and may leave scars. Some of the blemishes get infected and become even more painful, noticeable and annoying. However, even worse than all of this is their unpredictability.

It is not uncommon to have a series of cold sores appear repeatedly over a few months and then have them magically disappear. Sometimes people will go years without an outbreak only to suddenly begin having them monthly. They always seem to arrive at the worst possible time. Of course, this may be because there is never a good time to have one. Luckily, there is something that can be done to predict the arrival of an outbreak, and then stop it before it develops.

Step #1 Document all Outbreaks

Do not just mark on a calendar when outbreaks occur. Write down in a journal the weather conditions, any illnesses and what events were taking place at the time of the outbreak. Make a note about what types of food were being consumed in the days prior to the outbreak and how much sun exposure was experienced.

Step #2 Review the Patterns

Cold sores are not always as random as people think. It is possible to find these patterns by recording the events happening at the time of an outbreak. For example, someone may discover that they only had a cold sore after spending the day outside or when they were working overtime and under a lot of pressure.

Step #3 Create a Plan

Changes in habits and behaviors can help to break a cold sore pattern. Identify the trigger and do something to counteract the problem. Practicing mediation or getting a massage when stressed, for example. Even though it is impossible to stop all colds or flu viruses, people can eat healthier and sleep more to boost their immune system and get an annual flu shot to provide additional protection.

Step #4 Get Extra Help

Cures are currently not available, but some treatments are so effective they can seem like a cure. Lysine is available as a topical ointment and an oral supplement and some research showed it effective at treating cold sores. Lysine is also found naturally in milk and increasing the intake of milk may reduce outbreaks. Using a milk compress on a cold sore can help to reduce redness and swelling. Another option is a medical device known as the Inhibitor. This small appliance uses a faint electrical charge to zap the skin and stop the development of a cold sore. It may prevent a blemish from developing or shorten the life of one that is already visible.

Predicting when a cold sore will arrive and then stopping it in its tracks is the best way to eliminate the worst part of this annoying problem. Taking control of the situation will help chronic cold sore sufferers to finally stop feeling helpless.

Seven Celebrities That Have Cold Sores Too

Cold sores are a problem that affects men and women of every age. HSV-1, the virus that causes cold sores, is an equal opportunity nuisance. When an outbreak occurs it is difficult for anyone to feel attractive let alone actually glamorous. Maybe that is why it is hard to imagine any Hollywood celebrities suffering from this common disease. No matter how elite or perfect they may seem in glossy magazine and on the screen, celebrities really are only human. To prove that point here is a list of seven well-known faces that are subject to the same frustrating skin condition as many everyday Americans.

Alexa Chung

British Fashion Model and TV Personality
Modeling is not a profession that allows much imperfection and Alexa Chung is very careful to always present her best image when in public. It was for this reason she wrote an article about her cold sores and how they affect her life. She admits her embarrassment of her outbreaks has prevented her from leaving her home at times. However, she has also proven that it is possible to live an exceptonal life even with cold sores. She still models, is honest with people when an outbreak is underway to prevent spreading the virus and has managed to snag herself a very handsome high-profile boyfriend, Alexander Skarsgard.

Victoria Beckham

Fashion Designer and Former Spice Girl
Beckham is not the sort to ever look anything but fashionable and gorgeous. After all, she was not given the name “Posh Spice” for nothing. However, photos taken of her attempting to shield her cold sore from the paparazzi proved that even the posh are at risk of cold sores. That outbreak began after a long week of partying and other occasions when cold sores were obvious it was when she was known to be suffering with cold or flu viruses. This is clear proof that allowing the immune system to get run down often leads to an outbreak.

Lindsay Lohan

Actress
Before the filming of Scary Movie 5 Lindsay Lohan made headlines when she refused to kiss Charlie Sheen in the film. She feared contracting cold sores from him because of his reputation. Unfortunately, whether it was Sheen or someone else, Lohan was still exposed. Photos have shown her in mid-outbreak and gossip tabloids have stated that they tend to happen in sync with her menstrual cycle. That is more information than anyone needs to know, but it is true that many cold sore outbreaks are caused by hormonal changes.

Rihanna

Singer and Songwriter
In addition to suffering from cold sores, Rihanna is also in the middle of a strange lawsuit regarding HSV-1. The singer has never denied her cold sore problem and has been photographed with the sores showing prominently. A lawsuit was not filed against Rihanna, but listed MAC Cosmetics as the defendant. A woman alleges she was approached by a representative of the cosmetic company during a Rihanna concert with a tube of lipstick the singer had endorsed. The representative had the woman apply the lipstick to test the shade. She agreed and within a few days was diagnosed with HSV-1. Apparently the representative had only one tube of the lipstick and encouraged multiple people in the audience to use it. Yet another reason why people should never share makeup, utensils or drinking containers with anyone else.

Brad Pitt

Actor and Producer
A-list superstar and husband to equally A-list Angelina Jolie has been known to have HSV-1 for over 20 years. It is pretty easy to see that the condition has not cost him any acting roles or fans. There is no word on exactly where he may have contracted the virus, but reports all agree that it happened long before his relationship with Jennifer Aniston.

David Beckham

Former Soccer Star
It should come as no surprise that Beckham would suffer from HSV-1 considering his wife has been spotted with the condition too. Cold sores are incredibly contagious and not contracting the virus when someone in the home has it is nearly impossible over time. Most reports claim he did contract the virus from his wife Victoria.

Bill Clinton

Former President
President Clinton’s past is often deemed as the reason for his outbreak, but despite his apparent indiscretions this was not how he came to have the virus. Clinton, according to lifelong friends, suffered from cold sores since childhood and has experienced the occasional outbreak throughout his life.

The Internet hack of Sony pictures revealed a lot of juicy information the company was not thrilled to have made public. One of these tidbits was the form that actors were required to complete. The Cold Sore Questionnaire was deemed offensive to some, so much so that one actor refused to complete it. It was also discovered through the leak that one actress, who remained unnamed, did have the virus. The company policy required that anyone testing positive must be under prescription treatment and provide proof their condition was under control before filming.