Most cold sore sufferers are familiar with the itching and burning sensation that occurs a few days before a cold sore outbreak. While cold sores are typically not dangerous unless you have a compromised immune system, the constant itching is annoying, and a visible cold sore makes social situations uncomfortable. If you often suffer from cold sores, here are ways to minimize how frequently you have to experience them.
Reduce Stress And Avoid Common Triggers Of Cold Sore Outbreaks
Exposure to dry wind or sunlight are common triggers for cold sores in some sufferers. If sun exposure typically causes your cold sores, you should apply sunscreen on your frequent outbreak sites every day. This may reduce the risk of cold sores appearing. If wind is a common trigger for you, make sure that areas of your face that break out in cold sores are fully covered during windy days.
In addition, cold sores seem to be more prevalent during times of stress. Stress can definitely lower the effectiveness of your immune system in fighting off the herpes simplex virus. You may wish to add a relaxing activity to your daily routine such as yoga or meditation to reduce the general level of stress you experience during the day.
Prescription Medication Can Make Cold Sores Less Frequent, But Carries Side Effects
There are a few antiviral medications on the market that can reduce the frequency of cold sores or reduce their duration. These are typically only prescribed to patients with compromised immune systems or eczema due to potential side effects; a cold sore outbreak in a patient with eczema or who has a weak immune system is very serious. If you want to know more about possible prescription medication for frequent cold sore outbreaks, you should ask your doctor during your next visit.
Natural Alternatives Can Help Reduce Cold Sore Outbreaks In A Safer Way
Some natural alternatives, such as zinc, may increase the ability of your immune system to fight off herpes simplex infections before they begin. Eating a well-balanced diet and taking zinc supplements may reduce the frequency of cold sores. Other natural medications, such as the homeopathic medication Lippease, are another alternative to prescription medication to aid in the treatment of cold sores. A washcloth soaked in cold water is another safe way to reduce the burning and inflammation experienced in the area around your cold sore.
Above all, make sure that you don't spread the herpes simplex virus to others when you have an active cold sore. A high number of viral particles are present in the skin that sheds from your sore, so try not to scratch or touch it. Don't share toothbrushes or drinking glasses with other people, wash your hands frequently to minimize the number of viral particles on your hands and avoid face-to-face contact such as kissing in order to prevent spreading the virus.