How can you prevent a Cold Sore?

In terms of prevention it is accepted that cold sores strike when you are at your lowest ebb. Many will find that cold sores appear when their immune systems are compromised – for example, during or following another illness such as a cold or flu. For this reason if you want to avoid the curse of the cold sore you should work on boosting your immune system to keep up your natural defences.

One important factor in immune system maintenance is nutrition. A diet containing healthy fresh foods, such as fruit and vegetables, lean meat, oily fish and wholegrains will lay a great foundation for the body to fight infections as it is packed with nutrients including vitamins A, C and E – all vital to the body’s defences and restorative minerals Zinc and Iron.

See our Food Pyramid for daily recommended amounts. Also see our link Vitamin and Mineral Supplements for healthy people.

And the news is good for fans of pungent cuisine, garlic has proven antiviral properties and can help fight the occurrence of cold sores. So, chop up as much garlic as your recipe will allow. Garlic for medicinal purposes is best eaten raw but if you can’t face it then you can take it in capsule form.

Ditch from you diet or reduce your intake of high-arginine foods such as nuts, peanuts and chocolate.

What about treatment?
Those who prefer to steer clear of pharmaceuticals may like to try a tincture of Melissa leaves or St. John’s Wort applied directly to the affected area as well as a witch hazel compress to reduce swelling and irritation.
And while during an attack sufferers are best advised to refrain from the application of make up to the affected area (not least because there is a risk of spreading the infection through the use of applicators and direct application cosmetics. To disguise the cold sore blister you can buy cold sore patches over the counter, these are small clear plasters which contain the same active anti-viral ingredient as cold sore creams. The patch not only ensures constant contact with the virus fighting ingredients but also allows the application of your usual makeup over the top without applying directly to the affected area.

How to cover up a Cold Sore
Best advise is to leave it to heal - it will have a much better chance but if you absolutely must apply your makeup as normal ( and we know well the need to hide these hideous things away) then follow these instructions from dermatologist Paul Jarrod Frank who says:

“First, rub a protective coat of petroleum jelly on top of it. Then dab on a swipe or two of concealer afterward. That way, the makeup will adhere to the slippery topcoat, not the scabby skin underneath.”

To Sum Up
While for sufferers there is no escaping the curse of the cold sore, there are certainly ways in which women can guard against attacks by ensuring their immune system is in tip top shape and avoiding trigger factors. If the attacks do occur there are both naturopathic and pharmaceutical remedies available to aid quick recovery, while modern makeup makes it possible to temporarily disguise the unsightly blisters or scabs if necessary. The best way to guard against cold sores is to try and prevent the further spread of the infection by bearing in mind that the virus is contagious when the cold sore is in the blister form.

Of course, there is no way of completely eradicating the possibility of cold sores so sufferers are also advised to explore treatment options to lessen the severity of an attack. As soon as the tingling sensation occurs on or around the lip, then an anti-viral ointment containing the active ingredient aciclovir should be applied, early application can diminish the severity of the sore.