Why Doesn’t Everyone Get Them?
About two-thirds of us have been infected with the HSV-1 virus. It usually comes via well-meaning kisses from relatives or romantic partners. So why do only an unlucky few get cold sores? The answer may be in your genes. Most people who get cold sores share genes that may relate to how HSV-1 acts in your body. This could be what causes outbreaks.
HSV-1 lives in your nerves. It’s pretty quiet most of the time, but you may have triggers that bring it out of hiding — and cause cold sores.
What Are The Triggers?
- Recurrence may be triggered by:
- Viral infection or fever
- Hormonal changes, such as those related to menstruation
- Exposure to sunlight and wind
- Changes in the immune system
How To Ease The Discomfort:
Apply a cold sore ointment. It must be applied frequently and may shorten an outbreak by a few hours or a day.
- Use lip balms and cream. Protect your lips from the sun with a zinc oxide cream or lip balm with sunblock. If your lips become dry, apply a moisturizing cream.
- Apply a cool compress. A cool, damp cloth may reduce redness, help remove crusting and promote healing.
- Apply pain-relieving creams or pain medication. Over-the-counter creams with lidocaine or benzocaine may offer some pain relief.
There’s no cure for HSV infection, and the blisters may return.
See your doctor when you have cold sore as antiviral medications can help cold sores heal more quickly and may reduce how often they return.
Also try to avoid known trigger to prevent cold sore recurrence.