Thursday, 8 August 2013

How To Reduce Cold Sore Frequency

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You know what it's like - you've got a big meeting coming up or a hot date and you start to get that familiar tingling in your lip. "Oh god, not now!?!"

There's never a good time to get a coldsore but you can guarantee they'll pop up at the worst possible time. It's always the way, and unfortunately it's sod's law.

I suffered really badly with coldsores until quite recently. I would get one every other month, and they would hang around for well over a week. I don't just get tiny blisters either, I would get several mahoosive ones. I once had one which was pretty much my whole bottom lip. I know they seem bigger than they are because they are on your lip, but this one was huge and impossible to hide. Coldsores are a common problem but it doesn't make them any less unsightly and it doesn't stop people from staring at your lips. If like me you're unlucky and you get them in your nose too, they can take FOREVER to heal up and bugger off.

They're just a fact of life though aren't they? Or are they! I haven't had a coldsore in 15 months, which is a sheer miracle compared to how frequently I used to get them. And when I did get one 15 months ago, it was gone within 4 days, which is much quicker than they ever used to.

So what's the secret?

These tips may not work for everyone but they have really helped me, as is evident from the lack of sores in recent times, and being able to get rid as quickly as possible if one does flare up. I am not a medical professional and you try these at your own risk! (They are pretty safe though!!)

Never let your lips get dry

Coldsores love a dry, cracked lip. They can pop their little blistery heads through much more easily if you let your lips get dry. Always always have lip balm and apply liberally as often as possible. I find that the Tesco Medicated lip balm is an absolute god send because unlike Vaseline which can be quite drying, it does actually moisturise deep down into your lips and stops any dryness.

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Always use a lip balm that has SPF in it too, the sun is very drying and sunlight can also trigger our little friends. An SPF will block the harmful rays, and also help to keep the lips moisturised and stop them from drying out.

Never irritate your lips

Rubbing, licking and biting your lips can aggravate the virus into an episode. Never ever brush your lips, I know this is popular to get rid of dead skin cells but the one time I did this I broke out majorly in sores. Do not irritate your lips and don't lick them to keep them moist. This is very drying and will surely aggravate the virus. Always use your lip balm and where possible don't touch or rub your lips unless its unavoidable.

Take L Lysine and Vitamin C

I can't vouch for whether this definitely works or not, because I haven't had a coldsore while taking it but it might be because I am very cautious with the other tips on this list. I did read however that taking L Lysine, an amino acid, can help to reduce the severity of coldsores and may reduce the frequency. I don't take it all the time, just a couple of times a week when I remember. I bought mine from Amazon but you can get it from health food shops. Worth a shot if you are finding you are getting sores very often. Vitamin C is also an immune supporting vitamin, which can help reduce the likelihood of you picking up niggly illnesses like colds. When your body is already run down and fighting something like a cold, it finds it harder to keep the coldsore at bay. If you can avoid getting ill, you're likely to avoid coldsores too.


This stuff is recommended by the Herpes Virus Association and can be bought on their website. I use this instead of Zorvirax if I do get a sore, and the sore is gone within a few days. My husband has continued to get sores quite frequently (because he refuses to use a lip balm!!) and when he uses Lomaherpan the sore is gone in 4-5 days. I also put this one once a week or so, or when I remember, just to top up my defences. I especially apply it around the nostrils. Some people who have used this stuff swear by it for staving off coldsores entirely, and can stop them ever coming back in the same place again. Its no more expensive than Zorvirax and definitely better.

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Try to avoid stress

Easier said than done, I know, but coldsores LOVE stress and worry. If you are run down and stressed out, your little friends are bound to make an entrance. Worrying and stressing about things doesn't help any situation - what will happen will happen and if it's beyond your control, there is no use in you worrying about things. Take time to relax and de-stress each day, have a little me time, and don't let yourself get into a run down state.

Do you have any other tips to help avoid coldsores?

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