Cold Sore Season Is Coming: Exactly How to Tackle the Dreaded Tingle

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Approximately 3.7 billion people around the world experience cold sores every year. Not fun at all! These small blisters develop on the lips or around the mouth and are caused by the herpes simplex virus. While these usually resolve in seven to 10 days after first popping up, it’s generally not a pleasant experience.

While a cold sore can pop up at any time of year, these pesky blisters do seem to appear more regularly once the colder weather makes an appearance. The constant changes in temperature (from hot to cold and back again) can also play a role in cold sores coming out to say hello.

“Cold weather may possibly reactivate the cold sore virus,” Dr Anjali Mahto, consultant dermatologist and spokesperson for The British Skin Foundation, told health information directory, Patient. “Changes in temperature such as going from cold outdoor weather to warm indoor homes may be causative.”

Extremely dry lips, caused by the cold weather, can also make your lips more susceptible to cold sores while the season can also lower your immune system and increase your risk of developing a cold sore.

To keep your lips as healthy as possible, it’s helpful to pinpoint your cold sore triggers. These are most commonly things like exposure to wind, emotional or physical stress and hormonal changes, like having your period. While there is no cure for cold sores, it does help to pay attention to your stress levels (and ways to manage stress), while also keeping your lips protected with lip balm and sunscreen when outdoors.

Your lips need a little help when it comes to keeping them hydrated. “Unlike other areas of your skin, your lips don’t have oil glands to rejuvenate them,” said ‘smile scientist’ Dr Velimir Pajic. “If they don’t receive the moisture they need, they’ll become dry and flaky.”

When you begin to experience the tingle, which means a cold sore is on its way, start treating the area as soon as you can.

“When looking for a quick and effective cold sore treatment, look to products that contain ingredients providing anti-viral action against the HSV-1 virus, and also work to minimise inflammation and irritation,” said Dr Pajic.

Dr Pajic recommends herlip Cold Sore Rapid Relief Gel in times like these, as it’s made from over 20 naturally-sourced ingredients and provides a visible reduction in signs and symptoms of cold sores within 24 hours of your first application, while also moisturising your lips.

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