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.