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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.

7 Little Changes That Will Make a Big Difference With Cold Sore Outbreaks

7-changes-with-your-cold-sores
Living with cold sores is something that many people have to accept. There are ways to reduce the frequency of outbreaks and devices that do stop them entirely for some people. Unfortunately, not everyone is this lucky. In these instances the only answer is to find a way to make them less of an annoyance and to alleviate the pain. Here are a few tips to make that possible.

Mind Your Hands
Wash hands frequently to prevent the spread of an outbreak to other areas of the face or body. Clean hands will also stop the spread of the virus to others. Keep hands away from the face because it is impossible to keep them sterile 24-hours a day. Many people subconsciously pick at a cold sore without realizing it and this leads to inflammation and could potentially cause an infection. Plus, the oils and dirt on the hands may cause pimples to develop.

Buy in Bulk
Replace anything that touches the face during an outbreak. This includes toothbrushes, makeup brushes and lip balm. The virus can remain on these items and cause new breakouts after the original sore heals.

Take Some Vitamins
Cold sore sufferers may avoid Vitamin C because taking it can lead to an outbreak. This is potentially true, but it is only a part of the story. Vitamin C helps the body to build up its immune system by increasing T cell production. T cells activate HSV-1 cells by attacking them, but may not initially have the strength to kill the virus. This often leads to more outbreaks immediately after adding Vitamin C to a diet. Stopping will return the system to normal, but continuing to take the vitamin will allow the T cells to fully mature and become strong enough to kill the virus before the cold sore erupts. It is not a cure, but it may eventually help to prevent many outbreaks.

Avoid Covering Sores
The problem with hiding a cold sore is that common covering methods may irritate the sore. Shielding sores behind the hands while talking can lead to spreading the virus and makeup can irritate or infect the sore. Makeup will not stay on open sores and it will clump or settle into scabby spots and make the sore even more noticeable. An exception would be the medicated patches that are safe to use, but some people find these more irritating than helpful.

Relax a Little
Take five minutes, three or four times a day, to apply a cool compress to the sore. The compress will reduce inflammation and the short break helps people to decompress. This gives them the ability to help themselves in two ways at the same time. Try adding whole milk or a few drops of vanilla to the cloth for a more effective compress.

Buy a Sunhat
The sun causes many outbreaks as well as making existing sores more irritated. Wear a hat, use sunblock and sit in the shade. Reducing sun exposure helps to prevent cold sores as well as wrinkles, dark spots and skin cancer.

Avoid Hot Beverages
Coffee, cocoa and tea are soothing to everything except a lip with a cold sore. The heat of the beverage can increase the swelling and redness and potentially cause more pain. During an outbreak people can still get their dose of caffeine by choosing the iced versions of their favorite drinks.

Small lifestyle changes make a big difference over time. Rarely is the effect instantaneous, but within a few months people will often notice the outbreaks are occurring less frequently and the sores are healing faster. Every improvement is a step in the right direction and none of these steps are painful or expensive. Try them all and see how it works for you.

Looking for an effective treatment for cold sores? Try the Cold Sore Inhibitor. Read more about the Inhibitor here.

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Cold Sores

Ultimate cheat sheet on cold sores
Tired of researching advice, facts and other miscellaneous information about cold sores every time one starts to appear? Well, stop wasting time by saving this page because this convenient guide will tell you everything you need to know. Here are the all of the details about avoiding the spread of outbreaks to yourself and others, how to stop cold sores in their tracks and how to potentially prevent future outbreaks.

Keeping it Private

Your mother probably taught you to share, but it is doubtful she meant your cold sores. The reality is that the majority of adults are already carriers of the virus that causes outbreaks. However, there is no point in exposing the few who are not affected to the virus unnecessarily or passing a potential cold sore on to someone else. You also do not want to risk spreading the sores to other parts of your body or face. Follow these instructions during your next outbreak to avoid these unhappy events.

  • Do not share towels, clothing or utensils and drink containers.
  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after touching your face.
  • Do not kiss or allow any skin to skin contact near the infected area.
  • Do not borrow or lend lip balm or cosmetic products.
  • Wash dishes in hot water with a tablespoon of bleach to sterilize.
  • Do not share pillows with partners or children.
  • Toss out toothbrushes, lipstick and lip balm after an outbreak.
  • Sterilize or replace makeup applicators.
  • Do not break open the blisters intentionally. Wash your face immediately if the blisters do break.

Stopping the Severity

Most people only want to rid their skin of the blemish as fast as possible once a cold sore appears. There are several ways to make this happen.

  • Prescription medications relieve the discomfort and may shorten the outbreak by two or three days.
  • OTC creams also shorten the duration of some sores and provide a minimal amount of camouflage to the blisters.
  • Applying ice directly to the cold sore can reduce swelling and redness.
  • Cold milk compresses may also help to reduce swelling.
  • Cold sore inhibitor devices are best when used before the cold sore appears, but they also reduce the lifespan of most sores.
  • Aloe Vera gel helps to keep the skin softer and takes aways some of the burning sensation.

Stopping the Outbreak

The best scenario is to not experience a cold sore. This is possible, but the results are never guaranteed. Some people will continue to have outbreaks regardless of how careful they are.

  • Eat healthy. A good diet keeps the immune system strong.
  • Add more Vitamin C and E to the diet. They improve skin health, increase antioxidants and reduce inflammation.
  • Drink milk. The L-lysine in milk fights against the herpes virus.
  • Protect the skin from the sun. Use sunscreen and purchase a lip balm with SPF protection.
  • Eat zinc-rich foods.
  • Use an inhibitor device as soon as the first tingle is noticed.

Be cautious of home “remedies” that promise to eliminate a cold sore in a day or less. Many involve opening the sore, burning the sore and applying caustic chemicals to the area where the blemish is located. All of these methods are painful, can lead to scarring and may cause the spread of the blisters.