11 Common Cold Sore Misconceptions

Effective cold sore management relies on understanding the difference between common myths and the truth about the virus. People are better able to make sensible choices when they know everything about the cause, behavior and treatment methods relating to cold sores. Here is the truth about 11 common myths that anyone managing chronic outbreaks should know.

Myth #1 – Cold sores are a sign of an STD.

This is probably one of the most destructive cold sore myths because it causes unwarranted embarrassment and shame. Cold sores are caused by a herpes virus (HSV-1) but it is not the same as genital herpes (HSV-2). The sores may look similar and spread in the same manner but that is the extent of the similarities.

Myth #2 – Cold sores are never dangerous.

Most outbreaks arrive and heal without any complications but this does not mean they are never dangerous. Infants and toddlers and anyone with a weak immune system are at risk to complications that could include infections, blindness and even death. The severest complications are rare but do exist. This is why people in the middle of an active outbreak need to be cautious about hygiene and personal contact with others.

Myth #3 – Cold sores only appear when people are sick.

Despite being called “cold” sores or “fever” blisters, they do not need someone to be ill to develop. Some people will experience flu-like symptoms prior to an outbreak and others may be more prone to cold sores appearing when they are ill because their immune system is weak. However, a lesion can also appear without any other symptom.

Myth #4 – New cold sores only appear when someone is reinfected.

There is no such thing as a “reinfection” of HSV-1. It is not like a cold or flu virus that is contagious and runs its course. Once it is in a body it remains forever.

Myth #5 – Doctors can cure cold sores.

Prescription medications reduce discomfort and shorten the lifespan of the cold sore. They will not prevent future outbreaks and they do not cure a current blister.

Myth #6 – It is only a cold sore if it is on the lip.

Cold sores can develop anywhere on the face or body. They can even appear on the genitals. This does not mean they are then considered an STD. The fluid in a cold sore is contagious. A new lesion may form if it is touched and the fluid accidently spread to other parts of the skin.

Myth #7 – People will not get cold sores if they practice good hygiene.

Hygiene practices have very little to do with the development of cold sore lesions. Hand washing can help to prevent the spread of the virus but cold sores can develop once the virus is in the body regardless of how careful people are about their cleanliness.

Myth #8 – People that never get a cold sore are not infected with the virus.

Only about 30 percent of the population infected with HSV-1 ever develop a cold sore. The majority of these people will only experience outbreaks sporadically.

Myth #9 – Cold sores and canker sores are the same.

Canker sores and cold sores look similar, are both painful and occur near the mouth but they are not the same. A canker sore is related to either a lip or gum injury or a reaction to something that was consumed. It is not contagious and will typically go away within a day or two without any additional care.

Myth #10 – Cold sores are only spread by kissing.

People can develop cold sores without ever getting a kiss. They can be passed to someone through a handshake, by sharing cosmetics or utensils and through many other non-intimate types of contact.

Myth #11 – If a blister opens it will immediately cause new sores.

The fluid in a cold sore blister does contain the virus and can cause the spread of the lesions. However, the blisters will often open and drain on their own as the sore ages. Washing the area regularly and keeping hands away from it as it drains will greatly reduce the risk of it spreading. Opening the blister to drain the liquid in the hope that it will disappear faster is risky because it can lead to scarring and an infection.

Seven Things Everyone Hates About Cold Sore Outbreaks

Cold sores do not discriminate. They appear on all colors of skin, affect people of all ages and strike the affluent as easily as those struggling to get by. They are also disliked by all of these people equally. Anyone that repeatedly struggles with the nasty blisters will instantly understand how someone else is feeling when they spot them with the obvious blemish forming on their face. Here is a sample of the seven things people despise about suffering through an outbreak.

#1. Feeling ill for a few days before they begin.

It is not uncommon for people to experience flu-like symptoms prior to an outbreak. This can include a sore throat, swollen glands and a feeling of malaise. Chronic cold sore sufferers that notice these feelings outside of flu season or are unaware of having contact with anyone that is ill should consider this an early warning. Begin preventative treatments immediately for the best chance of avoiding an outbreak.

#2. The embarrassment of being seen with a cold sore.

There really is no way to avoid this other than hiding at home until it is gone. Since this is usually impossible it is important for sufferers to remember that they are not alone. An estimated 50 – 80 percent of all Americans are infected with HSV-1 and 90 percent of the U.S. population have the virus in their body by age 50.

#3. The reactions of other people.

This is another uncontrollable situation that requires self-confidence. The best way to manage this issue is to be educated. Understand the condition, how common it is and how it works in the body. It is a herpes virus, but not the one most people believe. Having the facts allows people to talk intelligently and honestly about a condition that should never cause shame.

#4. The long days of constant discomfort.

Cold sores do not have to be suffered in silence. There are ways to reduce the discomfort and eliminate the sore sooner. For pain, use an OTC medication to numb the skin and use ice packs to dull the heat and stinging sensation. To reduce the length of the outbreak invest in The Inhibitor. It is a handy device that is not only a preventative. It is also useful for helping to heal cold sore lesions.

#5. Not being able to kiss anyone.

Again, this is another reality that cannot be changed. Kissing a loved one is a very easy way to pass on the sore to them. Keeping some distance is the best option. However, as long as people are careful with their hygiene it is still possible to hold hands and hug.

#6. The risk of developing scars.

Cold sores that are allowed to heal on their own will rarely leave any mark behind. Help this to happen by ignoring the urge to pick at or pop the blisters. Keep crusted sores soft with a gentle lip balm (toss out after the sore has healed) and keep the skin hydrated by drinking plenty of water. This will reduce itching and help the sore to heal faster.

#7. Worrying about when the next cold sore will appear.

Be proactive about preventing cold sores. Practice stress reduction methods, avoid excessive amounts of sunlight and eat a healthy diet that includes whole milk. Purchase The Inhibitor and read all of the information that comes with the device. Women need to be particularly aware just prior to their menstrual cycle because hormonal fluctuations are known to trigger outbreaks.

Sadly, there is no way to promise anyone that they will be free from the risk of ever developing a cold sore again. That does not mean that understanding common triggers and using preventative devices and other tips are not worth the effort. Many people find long term relief when they are proactive about addressing their cold sores. It is possible to reduce the length and severity of an outbreak and, in many cases, to stop it in its tracks.

Treating Cold Sores: The Worst Advice We Have Ever Heard

A quick Google search will reveal a solution for any problem. Bad breath? Solved. Headaches? No problem. Cancer? Easily fixed. It is possible to find answers to many problems online, but everyone has to be careful before they try any solutions. There are many that will do more harm than good. Obviously, a life-threatening health crisis requires professional medical treatment, but even less serious health concerns are made worse with some of the “remedies” suggested. Here are some of the worst we have found for dealing with cold sores.

Popping the Blister
This is the most common “treatment” used and it is one of the most dangerous. First, the human body behaves a certain way for a reason. The fluid inside a blister and the layer of skin holding the fluid in are both protecting the sensitive new skin underneath. Popping the blister exposes the skin before it is ready and increases the risk of a secondary infection. Secondly, the fluid contains the virus that causes cold sores. Popping a blister increases the chance of additional sores and makes it easy to spread the virus to others.

Using Polish Remover
Many swear by applying nail polish remover to a cold sore to dry it out faster. This tip includes two bad ideas. One is popping the blister (see above) and the other is applying the polish remover to the raw lesion. Not only will this hurt tremendously, it is also risky for the skin. Nail polish remover is acetone and this chemical absorbs oils from the skin, leaving it red, itchy and chapped. The already uncomfortable and damaged skin around the cold sore will only hurt more and it may require longer to heal.

Lighting a Match
This advice directs people to light a match, blow it out and press it onto the cold sore. There is no science or sense in this suggestion. In addition, cold sores often cause a painful burning sensation. Why would anyone want to make it worse?

Using Bodily Fluids
These next two pieces of advice win for being the most disgusting suggestions. Treating cold sores naturally is appealing to many people, but using ear wax or urine is just a little too natural. American research studies have shown that ear wax (cerumen) has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, but cold sores are caused by a virus and not a bacteria or fungus. The wax does shield the sore and that shielding may help the healing process. However, petroleum jelly or lip balm will do the same. Many websites claim that cerumen has been proven by Russian scientists to be a cure for herpes sores, but no evidence of these studies has been found. As for urine, it does contain urea and that is an ingredient used in cold sore medications. However, it is not the only ingredient medications contain and urea is not all that is in urine. Cold sores already cause enough embarrassment. Do people really want to also walk around with urine and ear wax smeared on their face?

There are no cures for cold sores, but there are legitimate treatments that prevent them from forming and heal faster those that do form. These remedies are not disgusting or painful. There is no reason for anyone to take risks with their health when safe, clinically-proven solutions are available.

Join the tens of thousands who have tried the Cold Sore and Viral Inhibitor to help prevent their cold sores from breaking out. These Inhibitors do not require prescriptions, drugs, creams or ointments and are an non-invasive solution to cold sore outbreaks.