If you suffer from these miserable little blighters then you will know how important it is to be vigilant at this time of the year. Every time I am even slightly run down or ill I can be sure that a sneaky little blister will work its way onto my lip or nose and bam, before you know it, you’re in for 10 days of unsightly and painful woe!
Cold sores are outbreaks of the herpes virus, which you unfortunately have for life! They are HIGHLY contagious – not just on your own face but also to others. New research shows that newborn babies are in serious danger from this virus and extreme cases have been reported so be aware!
Here are my tips on how to be prepared – preferably avoid and if the worst comes to the worse – treat!
I am so in-tune with the ‘tingle’ that a few applications of Zovirax or other antiviral cold sore creams at the first sign will do the job and keep the blister at bay. On saying that, sometimes the tingle can happen whilst I’m asleep and lo and behold you wake up with a tiny blister – looks harmless but oh my goodness it’s getting ready to give you some serious discomfort!
My first port of call in this case are the blister pads from Compeed. They are absolutely brilliant because they allow the blister to evolve under the plaster without risk of contamination and without the horrible scab – which is not only truly painful but cracks whenever you laugh or smile thus delaying the already lengthy healing process! It also means you can apply lipstick as normal and look almost acceptable for public viewing (although I do find myself explaining to everyone what the patch is on my mouth even though 9 times out of 10 it was doing it’s job and being invisible!) The plasters last for up to 8 hours and you can eat and drink as normal. I like to leave mine on as long as possible because I do find the sore is disrupted during removal and may delay the healing a little – just my thoughts. You should need the plasters for around a week whilst the sore evolves and then heals. Better than the scabbing for sure but still a giant pain in the bottom!
If you find yourself coming down with sores regularly then get yourself off to your GP for some antiviral medication such as acyclovir or famciclovir which will help in those extreme cases. Some people swear by taking lysine too although I haven’t tried it and I have even heard that the suncream p20 stops them before they pop out! Would love to hear any feedback on these ones.
Some more useful advice:
Don’t touch the sore at all and if you do was hands well!
Avoid those with low immune systems and the very very young. They are most prone to catching.
No kissing till the sore has healed!
Watch sharing items such as make-up, cutlery or face cloths etc. This virus loves to spread.
Sleep with your head elevated if you can, it helps with the painful swelling.