Cold sores on the lips can be one of the most aggravating infections that a person can get. Caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1), the virus can remain dormant in a person’s body for years and then resurface … normally at the most inopportune time.
Some causes of cold sores include: stress, insomnia, menstruation, too much exposure to UV rays, digestive disorders, stress, the common cold, influenza, and dry, cracked lips. While we can’t do anything to cure our bodies of this virus for good, we can treat cold sores and deter the outbreak of cold sores if we follow these pieces of advice:
Recognize the symptoms: oftentimes you will get a stinging and burning sensation on your lips prior to a cold sore outbreak. By recognizing this major symptom, you can purchase an over-the-counter medicine and apply it before the cold sore actually has a chance to appear.
Practice good hygiene when using OTC medicines for treatment: always wash your hands prior to and after applying an over-the-counter cold sore treatment medicine. Apply the treatment at least 5 times a day and use a cotton swab if possible to avoid actually touching the sore.
Keep your lips moisturized: dry and cracked lips are both causes of cold sores, so by keeping the lips and skin well moisturized, you can help deter the outbreak of cold sores.
Use sun block on your lips and use lip-balm with SPF: too much exposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause the outbreak of cold sores. By remembering to apply and reapply sun block or a lip balm containing sun block to your lips when you are outdoors will also decrease the amount of cold sores that arise.
Eat lysine-rich foods: foods that are high in lysine also help to deter cold sores. This includes: beef, fish, chicken, eggs, milk, cheese and yogurt.
Stress-reducing activities: according to Newsweek, it may help if you try a few stress-reducing activities such as meditation, physical activity or getting a neck massage as cold sores can flair up as a result of stress.
Kissing and sharing: avoid kissing anyone with a cold sore or sharing items like toothbrushes, lip-balm or towels. And always remember to wash your hands if you suspect you’ve had contact with a cold sore.