Why do we get Cold Sores?
It is a bit of a lottery really. 80% of the population carry the virus but for most this lays dormant and is not a problem.
For the unlucky ones the virus is usually contracted in childhood – perhaps from a well meant kiss from a family member who is infected with the virus. As stress seems to be an aggravating factor in the eruption of the visible sore, it often becomes more of a problem later in life.
Cold sores are caused by the Herpes Simplex virus (which comes from the same family of viruses that cause chicken pox and shingles).
Why do they suddenly erupt?
A factor known to aggravate the onset of a cold sore attack is irritation from sun exposure, which can be avoided by the regular use of a lip balm or cosmetics containing a sun protection factor or SPF.
Stress, which we know has a detrimental effect on the body’s defences, weakens the immune system and can be the trigger to a cold sore. And whilst it is easy to advise sufferers to attempt to avoid stress, we all know that in the real world, some stresses are unavoidable. Balance out the effects of everyday life by factoring into your week a little bit of “me time”. This can have great healing powers, help in the prevention of many minor ailments and boost your natural defences. learn more about relaxation techniques
What not to do when you get a Cold Sore
Cold sores are very contagious at the blister stage and you should refrain from kissing until it has completely healed. As you read above, children can pick this virus up and be blighted (as you probably were) for the rest of their lives. Apart from kissing, sharing flannels, towels and lipstick can all spread the virus in its most active stage so should be avoided.