That tingling you feel just above your upper lip is unmistakable. You know that it’s the start of another cold sore. You’ve gone through this routine before. First, it gets red, then that itchy tingly area puffs out into a big embarrassing cold sore. For some reason, you can’t stop checking yourself out in the mirror. Why you wonder, does it have to happen to me?
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. It’s likely that some relative of yours infected you when you were a child by kissing you at a time when their herpes simplex was infectious. The virus went right into your mouth and sought a hospitable host cell that would let the virus move right in. The virus then “ordered” the DNA in its host cell to make lots more viruses exactly like it.
Most of the time, these viruses are homebodies. They stay put, but from time to time the virus family likes to take a little trip down the nerve highways until it reaches the skin surface. When this happens, you start to feel that awful tingling sensation that signals the start of another cold sore.
What can you do about it ?.. Keep The Cold Sore Clean And Dry. If the cold sore isn’t really bothersome, just leave it alone. Make sure to keep the sore clean and dry. If it becomes pussy – and this rarely happens – seek medical attention to make sure the bacterial infection is properly treated.
Replace Your Toothbrush.
Your trusty toothbrush can hold the herpes virus for days, reinfecting you after the present cold sore heals. Get rid of your toothbrush as soon as you start with a cold sore, and after your cold sore has gone, replace your toothbrush for a second time just in case. Don’t take any chances.
Don’t Keep Your Toothbrush In The Bathroom.
A nice wet toothbrush in a moist environment like your bathroom is a cozy home for the herpes simplex virus. The moisture helps prolong the life of the herpes virus on your toothbrush, that’s why it should be stored in a dry place.
Use Small Tubes Of Toothpaste
Toothpaste can transmit disease too, so if you use smaller tubes, you’ll be replacing your toothpaste more often.
Protect With Petroleum Jelly.
Cover your cold sore with petroleum jelly. Be sure not to dip back into the jelly with the same finger you used to touch your sore. It would be better to use fresh cotton buds.
Zap It With Zinc.
Several studies have shown that a water-based zinc solution applied the minute you feel that tingling, will help speed the healing time. The zinc irons cross-link with the DNA molecule of the herpes virus and prevent the double helix from splitting, this means the virus can’t get the DNA to help it replicate. Zinc gluconate, available at health food stores, is kinder to the skin than zinc sulfate.
Identify The Pattern
What was going on in your life just before you got your last cold sore? What about the cold sore prior to that? If you do some investigating, you just might figure out what triggers a cold sore for you. If you can find a trigger, you’ll know when to take the most care.
Soften It With An OTC
There are numerous products that claim to heal cold sores. In general, they contain some emollient to reduce cracking and soften scabs, and a numbing agent like phenol or camphor. Phenol may have some antiviral properties, and it’s possible that it could kill the virus.
Block That Sun (Or Wind)
Protecting your lips from trauma like sunburn or wind exposure is thought to be one of the keys to preventing cold sores.
Avoid Arginine-Rich Foods.
The herpes virus needs arginine as an essential amino acid for its metabolism, so cut out foods such as chocolate, cola, peas, grain cereals, peanuts, gelatin, cashews, and beer.
Correct Your Perception.
No one likes getting a cold sore. But you’ve got one, so focusing on it and worrying about how you look can make it worse. Cut out your negative thoughts. Tell yourself that it’s just like a pimple, and it won’t interfere in your life in any way!