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Natural solutions for cold sores


Oh, February, that month in the year when viruses are doing the rounds, our immune systems are experiencing the toughest period of the year, and there are so many various viruses flying around its all-but impossible to avoid them. We are exposed to new 'dangers' on a daily basis and our bodies are struggling to escape from all the potential 'invaders' and to achieve balance. Seasonal viruses are transient visitors, which are more likely to be active in the colder part of the year and fade into  inactivity in the summer holiday season. However, there is always a more stubborn individual virUs that doesn't conform to the season norms. This is the case with the herpes simplex virus (HSV), for example. It is known by the name herpes, but there are two types - type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2) – the former of which is the most common.

We normally have our first encounter with viruses in our early childhood – usually having caught them from our parents or relatives. These viruses then remain within us, albeit in an unnoticeable way, i.e. 'at rest'. They are then activated later in life when our immune systems are challenged.

cold sores


Factors that can trigger an outbreak of a cold sore:

- stress

- menstruation

- hormonal imbalance

- increased body temperature

- exposure to the sun and other weather extremes

- psychological strain

- infections - such as colds and the flu

- generally weakened immune system


Cold sore symptoms and stages

The herpes virus first appears in the form of fluid-filled blisters, usually on the lips but they can also form around the lips and nose. The onset manifests in the form of a red swelling and a burning sensation, then, within a few days, it develops completely and forms a dry scab.


Cold sore stages

  1. Itching, tingling and burning. The skin becomes red and the first blister appears.
  2. A group of fluid-filled blisters
  3. The blisters burst and infected sores appear. The skin around them is painful and intensely sensitive to touch.
  4. The scab is formed.

The primary form of the virus occurs in a cold or flu-like form accompanied by a sore throat, fever, swollen glands, headache, nausea and similar symptoms. The secondary form of the virus always appears in a milder form and lasts for a shorter time. Over the years, flare-ups tend to become less common and, when they do occur, come in much milder forms.


How cold sore is transmitted and how to protect yourself against its spread

Cold sore caused by the herpes simplex virus can spread by droplet or contact transmission. It can, therefore, be transmitted by kissing, sharing cups and cutlery, make-up and the like. Proper hygience is of particular importance during this period as it can prevent the spread of the virus to other parts of the body (eyes, genitals). Thorough hand hygiene, changing towels and proper care of the affected area of the skin can successfully prevent the spread of herpes and at the same time protect our loved ones from possible infection.

It's worth knowing that the incubation period of the virus – i.e. the time from infection to the onset of the signs of the virus - is usually 10-23 days. The patient is infectious two days before the onset of the first blister and five days after the last one.

Important! It is very important not to kiss babies if you are having a cold sore outbreak as it can cause neonatal herpes, which can seriously endanger their health.

cold sores - neonatal


Natural relief for the symptoms of cold sores

- Choose soft foods that are not too hot

- Always wash your hands before and after caring for your face or the affected area

- Avoid all potential triggers or factors that can cause cold sores (fever, wind, stress,…)

- Take a painkiller in the event of severe pain

- Ensure adequate fluid intake to prevent dehydration


What to avoid when you have a cold sore outbreak

- Kissing

- Don't share anything that has been in contact with the affected area

- Do not touch the affected area unnecessarily

- Apply ointments gently and do not rub them into the affected area


Cold sores have a habit of appearing at the least opportune time

The time when cold sore appears can seem very tiresome. The pain and unpleasant sensations are compounded by a group of unattractive blisters, which cause us discomfort for quite some time. And, it goes without saying that cold sore is most likely to occur at the least opportune time, such as when we are working on a particularly important project, presentation, speech or appearance. This reminds us of a well-known Slovenian singer who, the day before the most important performance of her career (the Eurovision song contest) she got a cold sore outbreak. Sleepless nights, stress, inappropriate nutrition, a body thrown out of its usual rhythm, and, voila ... makeup artists had a very demanding challenge to cover up the problem. And they were able to do so, because, thankfully, there are concealers and similar kinds of make-up that can help us maintain our confidence in such times of an ‘outbreak’.

As a preventative measure, we strongly recommend that you take good care of your immune system by getting enough sleep, exercising outdoors in the fresh air, eating a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, relaxing, and mastering techniques to help you manage your daily stress. All this in addition to careful lip care and there will be no end of kisses!


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