Cold sores are a common viral infection that 50 to 80% of American adults are suffering from these days. Despite the name, the condition is caused by (HSV-1) the herpes simplex virus type 1. The virus can be spread from person to person through skin contact and sharing cups and glasses. Cold sores usually appear with painful and blistery bumps; but sometimes, the virus presents no symptoms. That is why many people do not realize they have it. Cold sores mostly occur on the lips or around the mouth, and are known as fever blisters or oral herpes. Cold sores are painful and contagious; but, they can be treated with OTC topical creams like Prosurx. Besides, some home remedies such as baking soda and lemon balm can be helpful. But unfortunately, the virus never goes away once you have it in your body. Experts explain that the virus can be kept in check by the immune system. But when the immune system is weakened, the virus can reactivate and trigger a cold sore. Thus, anyone who has HSV-1 may have chances of getting recurrent cold sores.
Here’s 6 weird things that can trigger a cold sore.
Lack of sleep
Doctors say that fatigue can definitely trigger a cold sore outbreak. Thus, any activity that triggers fatigue can contribute to the causes of a cold sore.
Sleep is important for the function of the immune system. If lack of sleep, your immune system won’t be strong enough to keep the condition at bay. Besides, sleep can also be beneficial for mental and physical health. If you get enough sleep, you may lower your risks of getting other diseases.
Enough sleep and good rest are key for dealing with cold sores. If you experience breakouts of herpes, getting 8 hours of sleep may help. Besides, you should eat healthy foods to sleep better and improve your immune system. These foods may include pumpkin seeds, popcorn, tart cherries, soy and salmon.
Sickness is one of 6 weird things that can trigger a cold sore in humans. In fact, a fever, concurrent infection, or viral infection can bring the dormant virus to life. If you have an upper respiratory-tract infection, that can trigger your cold sore too. So you can lower your risks of getting infections that trigger a cold sore outbreak by:
- Practice good hygiene to reduce the chances of getting sick
- Wash hands regularly to prevent viral infections
A surgery and medical procedure may also disturb the immune system, leading to a cold sore.
Like fatigue, stress can trigger a cold sore; but, it can be managed easily. Stress affects your emotional health and suppresses your immune system. That will give a dormant cold sore a chance to wreak havoc on your body. Thus, you should keep your stress under control to avoid a cold sore. When you are stressed out, breathe deeply and relax. Spending time with friends or trying calming activities like meditation can also help.
Anything that disturbs your immune system can trigger a cold sore. And nothing causing hormonal changes in your body like menstruation does. Doctors believe changes in hormone can have strong effects on the immune system. Many women often use birth control to eliminate their periods. But that can cause them to get cold sores while they’re on their periods.
In this case, you should consult your doctor about medications.
The cold weather can dry out your lips and trigger a cold sore. But, you can also get cold sores through excessive sunlight in the hot weather. So, you should stay out of the sun to lower your risks of triggering HSV-1 outbreaks. No matter the season, you should:
- Protect against sun and wind
- Use lip balms with SPF
- Wear facial moisturizers with plenty of SPF
- Use a beach umbrella
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat
- Drink lots of fluids
Limit your time under wind and sunlight is key to avoid triggering a cold sore.
There are many certain medications that can suppress the immune system. For example, corticosteroids used to treat autoimmune diseases may increase fungal infections. Besides, some medications used in surgery or used to treat cancers can weaken the immune system. If you notice a cold sore from these medications, talk to your doctor about changing medications.
There is a wide range of medicines that can help cold sores heal faster. For example, Valtrex and Acyclovir can ease pain and discomfort. But, these medicines can’t help get rid of the virus. If you get blisters on your lips, these drugs will not help much.
Doctors recommend patients use OTC topical drugs to get rid of cold sores fast. These drugs can reduce symptoms of the sores quickly. Besides, some OTC creams like Prosurx can help inactivate the virus, preventing recurrent infections. Researchers have followed thousands of patients who have used Prosurx to treat cold sores. And, they finally notice most of them get the best results on day 2.
You need to avoid these cold sore triggers to stop the condition. Besides, take care of yourself, eat healthy and avoid sharing personal items can also help.