Survive a cold sore

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

If you’re prone to cold sores, you’ll know just how dreadful it feels when you first get that tingly sensation that announces their imminent arrival. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent them and lessen their duration when they strike.

What causes them?

Cold sores are caused a virus that lies dormant in many people’s bodies and are more likely to appear when your immune system is compromised due to illness or stress. They’re contagious from the moment you get that first tingly warning right through to when your skin is completely healed. They can also spread to other areas of your body so, if you accidentally touch one (whether your own or someone else’s), you should wash your hands as well as any other areas that made contact with the sore to greatly reduce your risk of spreading the virus. You should also avoiding kissing and oral sex during all stages of your cold sore.

How to prevent them

If you regularly suffer with cold sores, it is advisable to take L-lysine supplements regularly. This cannot completely prevent them, but it can reduce the intensity and duration of their stay. L-lysine is an essential amino acid that is not produced by our bodies, so you need to get it from your diet via protein-rich foods like chicken, fish and dairy. The moment you notice the first sign of a new cold sore, you can increase your L-lysine supplement dose to further fight off the virus.

Blitz them when they appear

Topical treatments do not ‘cure’ cold sores, but they do offer relief from pain and discomfort. Together with the increased doses of L-lysine a topical ointment containing high doses of zinc, vitamin C, and yes, some more L-lysine.

Get clever with your make-up

When you’ve got a cold sore, use this time to experiment with eye make-up techniques. Dramatic cat-eye liner will draw the attention to your sparkly eyes, and not your throbbing upper lip. You can also practise your contouring skills; as cold sores generally go hand in hand with a weakened immune system, lack of sleep or high stress periods, a little highlighter and bronzer in all the right places will have you looking peachy in no time. Just be sure to ignore the temptation to slap make-up all over a cold sore as this could irritate it and make it worse. If you want to wear lipstick, lip balm, or gloss, apply it with a cotton bud without double dipping to make sure your product doesn’t come into contact with your cold sore. If it does and you use it again, you can end up re-infecting yourself.

Written by

Chantelle loves the beauty industry and is a junkie for all things high-tech. A background in skincare therapy and a secret dream of becoming a copywriter steered her in the direction of beauty blogging. To read more of her writing, visit her blog

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  1. AndreaM

    Oooh this is so helpful, thanks a mill. I have one last the moment & get them regularly.

    4 years ago •

  1. Tiaan Smith

    Something I’ve never had yet :-) Is it true that you can get it if you kiss someone?

    5 years ago •


    I’ve never suffered from a cold sore in my life… But I used to work with this girl who used to get them as worse as I have ever heard or seen!!!!!! She used every single thing on the market and nothing worked – not even teh B12 or the preventative cold sore tablets. The one day one of our directors out of the blue mentioned she must try peroxide. It sounded terrible, but then he said that that’s all they use when cycling (Cape Epic stuff) and someone gets a scrath or sore – it litterally freezes the sore and numbs the pain. She started using it and literaly the next day her cold sores were GONE!!!! Worth a try if you suffer from it…

    5 years ago •

  1. Ladyconfused

    Only when I have been really sick have I had a cold sore but only because my imune system was down.

    5 years ago •

  1. Pseudo_kate

    I’ve never gotten cold sores (touch wood)

    5 years ago •

  1. Nancy Katy

    Very interesting, nice to know what supplement to take to prevent
    Cold Sores.

    5 years ago •

  1. SpiceY

    Thanks…..cold sores are horrible ….looking n feeling

    5 years ago •

  1. voges

    thank you for the article very informative

    5 years ago •

  1. Lah

    Very interesting! I use Dynexan (for mouth ulcers too). Brilliant stuff!

    5 years ago •

  1. Glamorous Glitter

    I always used get cold sores during winter, but after regular Vitamin B12 shots, they dissapeared!

    5 years ago •

  1. Tasha

    My hubby got them again… Wish there was a cure.

    5 years ago •

  1. ricebunny

    never had this before but my friend does so i will def share thios article with her

    5 years ago •

  1. Tasha

    My hubby gets them all the time. I don’t know what to do already to keep his immune system up.

    6 years ago •

  1. Livvy

    TEA TREE OIL, i get cold sores often and i discoved this advise last year and didnt look back since, just try it out. Remember to store away from sunlight.

    6 years ago •

  1. Humphreys

    Over and above taking a multivitamin – and my Vit C in all forms i possibly can i have to admit not being able to recall when last i’ve had a cold sore, but great tip when it eventually arises.

    6 years ago •

  1. Sam

    I simply hate cold sores, thankfully I haven’t had one in ages.

    6 years ago •

  1. Rochelle Kay

    Ladies, try this NOW if you have a cold sore, take an ice block, pu it in a piece of towel paper, and hold it over the cold sore for 10 minutes or until the block melts completely. I did it twice on one day, and it WORKED!

    6 years ago •

  1. Maria Meyer

    I sent this article to a friend of mine who is currently struggling with TWO cold sores at this very moment – thanks for the advise guys!

    6 years ago •

  1. Rochelle Stewart

    I dread the appearance of a cold sore, just as bad as a hideous pimple.
    So anything and everything to combat prevention is a must!

    6 years ago •

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