Five Cliches About Cold Sore Outbreaks to Avoid

Everyone has plenty of advice and comments when cold sore develops. People that experience them regularly will have heard the same advice and thoughts repeatedly over the years. Most of the remarks are spoken in kindness and others are simply a matter of misinformation. However, there are beliefs and common cliches that do nothing to help and may even hinder the healing process. Here are the top statements to avoid in favor of reserving your efforts for something more helpful.

#1. That is what happens when you get a fever.

Cold sores are not caused by a fever. This belief led to the nickname, fever blisters. However, a weakened immune system may lead to the development of a cold sore. This is why they do sometimes appear during cold and flu season. There is the chance that a random fever may actually be caused by a developing cold sore and not the opposite. People vulnerable to random outbreaks should consider a fever and tender lymph nodes as a red flag to an impending cold sore appearance and should act early to prevent it from happening.

#2. So, you have herpes?

This is an offensive comment to many people because it usually suggests that the cold sore sufferer is an STD carrier. Yes, cold sores are caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus. However, it is Type 1 and not Type 2. Clear up the confusion whenever possible but do not waste time worrying about the “herpes’ label. They may not realize it but statistically, the people making these comments are more likely than not to also be infected with HSV-1.

#3. I kissed someone with a cold sore. How soon before I get one?

The virus that causes cold sores is very contagious and can spread through a simple kiss, but it is not like a cold virus. It is not caught and healed and then recaught another time. Once someone has the virus it will remain in their system for life. This is why most people will contract the disease during childhood and often through a kiss from a well-meaning adult relative. Most people with the virus will never have a single cold sore. Kissing someone will not necessarily make one appear. It is also just as likely to contract the virus and get a cold sore from someone that is infected but has no visible lesion at the time of the kiss. Stop worrying about where it was contracted and focus on preventing outbreaks instead.

#4. Stay away from salt.

That bit of advice should actually read, “stay away from salty foods”. Commercially salted foods like chips and pretzels have coarse salt on the surface that irritates cold sores and may make them red and swollen and encourage people to touch or rub at the lesion more frequently. This could further aggravate the problem. The point to remember is that salt (on its own) is and a natural disinfectant that may help to reduce some inflammation. A swish with warm salt water once or twice a day may help to help relieve the discomfort and cleanse the area.

#5. Take some lysine.

There is evidence that lysine helps to reduce the duration of cold sores and may prevent future outbreaks. The problem with popping a lysine supplement regularly is that is could lead to abdominal pain, kidney stones and regularity issues. Milk is a natural source of lysine and is a much more natural and safe way to boost the level in the body. Upping your intake of whole milk to a glass or two a day and using milk compresses when a cold sore is beginning or already developed is just as effective as a supplement but without the side effects.

The one cliche to always follow is when people say to treat the cold sore at the very first sign of development. This usually means a tingling, burning sensation somewhere around the mouth. The Inhibitor is an easy way to accomplish this task. It is a small, handheld device that is battery operated and produces a mild charge that disrupts the growth of the sore. It is useful for developing and existing lesions as well as other blemishes. In-between uses it stores easily in a handbag, backpack or cupboard.

9 Surprising Fever Blister Facts Many People Do Not Know

Fever blisters or cold sores are a common problem that everyone has seen at some point in their life. It is an annoying and unsightly cluster of blisters that is usually seen on or around the lips. Most people think they know all about these annoying blemishes, but there are many facts that may surprise them.

1. They are not caused by a fever or an illness.

They do not only appear when people are sick despite being commonly known as fever blisters or cold sores. They arrive more frequently during cold and flu season because a damaged immune system is not able to fight them off as easily as a healthy system.

2. They are very contagious.

Fever blisters are highly contagious unlike traditional blisters or a pimple. Something as simple as handling a towel previously used by someone with a cold sore could lead to contracting HSV-1, the virus responsible for the lesions.

3. Fever blisters and canker sores are unrelated.

The two lesions are completely different even though they often occur in the same area, look similar and feel similar. Canker sores only appear inside the mouth and are usually related to diet or an injury to the mouth. They are also not contagious.

4. Cold sores can spread to other parts of the body.

It is possible for a cold sore to appear on the face or anywhere on the body. Touching the sore and then another part of the skin could lead to this uncomfortable condition.

5. It is one of the most common infectious viruses in the world.

An estimated 4 billion people under the age of 50 currently test positive for HSV-1 around the world.

6. Cosmetic procedures like chemical peels could cause cold sore outbreaks.

Some cosmetic procedures can cause an outbreak even if the skin appears clear at the time of the treatment. Discuss the issue prior to the appointment with a doctor so they can prescribe an anti-viral medication as a precaution to reduce the risk.

7. Fever blisters can be deadly.

Most people will suffer no severe side effects from fever blisters. They can become life-threatening to infants, people with weakened immune systems and when an infected cold sore is ignored.

8. Medical treatments are not cures.

Doctors provide their patients with medication that will numb the pain and dry out the fluid faster. It only eliminates the sore a day or two earlier than it would go away on its own and it will not prevent future outbreaks.

9. It is possible to prevent some fever blisters from forming.

Fever blisters announce their impending arrival with a small tingle or burning sensation. During this period of time, it is possible to stop the blister from developing. Milk, ice and tea bag compresses may help. Reduce stress, stay out of the sun and eat a healthy diet. Purchase and use “The Inhibitor”. This is a device that uses a small electric charge to stop the blister in its tracks.

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.


  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.

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.

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.