Ick! I absolutely hate the fact that I get cold sores. Over time, I have learned that I have all kinds of triggers. For example, I tend to get them when I am tired and stressed out or sick, sometimes even just because the weather is bad or I get too much sun.
I am usually on alert for cold sores in winter. I can feel a little tingling and shortly after get that awful little sore. Left untreated it can be miserable and last for about two weeks.
I do use Abreva® and I have found that when I first feel that teeny tingle on my lip, that if I put Abreva® on right away, I can often stop a full blown cold sore from forming. If I am out of Abreva® and wait a day or so, I will still get a bit cold sore, although the Abreva® can speed up the time it takes to heal. Sometimes, like for Holiday parties, that is super helpful.
Did you know that Abreva® is the only over-the-counter medication approved by the FDA that is proven to shorten healing time of a cold sore?
I do think Abreva® is a good thing to stock in your medicine cabinet. Find out more about cold sore medicine here on the Abreva® website.
What exactly IS a cold sore? Here is some information from Abreva® :
- “A cold sore is a blister that forms on or around the lips and is usually caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1).[i] HSV-1 usually affects the lips or mouth but can spread to the eyes or genitals.[ii]
- Most cold sore sufferers aren’t exactly sure when they first encountered the virus because HSV-1 is usually contracted early in childhood. [iii]
- While it’s likely that up to 90% of adults have been infected by the cold sore virus, not everyone gets cold sore outbreaks.8 Actually, only 20%-40% of people will experience cold sores.8
- About 80 millionAmericans suffer from cold sores, which can be unsightly and sometimes painful.[iv]
- If left untreated a cold sore typically goes through 5 stages during its 7-10 day course, and sometimes it can hang around up to 2 weeks.[v]
You probably already know that HSV-1 is as easy to spread as it is tough to fight. The virus that causes cold sores is very contagious, so avoid close personal contact such as kissing or sharing utensils during an outbreak.9 So it goes without saying: keep the virus to yourself.”
Well, you can also get a prescription that helps, but that is a hassle. You need to show your doctor a cold sore, usually. You can ask your doctor about that. I also use a tea tree based lip butter, and find that helps too. I also make sure to not use lipsticks while I have a cold sore. I will use my finger or a q-tip to apply a bit of lipstick. If I get a cold sore and know my lipstick touched it, I do need to throw out that lipstick.
Want to stock up your medicine cabinet? Enter here to win a $25 Amazon Gift Code! To enter, leave me a comment telling me what winter colds your family gets!
(Ends January 9, 2013)