Friday, 17 February 2017

Cold sore myths debunked

When it comes to the dreaded cold sore, old wives tales are rife. But, we’ve debunked 10 of the most common myths which could actually help you keep the nasty sores at bay.

1. Cold weather causes cold sores
Perhaps it's all in the name, but most people think that cold sores are most likely to break out in the depths of winter. In fact, sunlight is the most common trigger of cold sores, which is bad news for anyone planning to jet off on a winter sun holiday.

2. The cold sore virus is relatively rare
This couldn't be further from the truth. You might be surprised to learn that around 85% of the UK population carries the virus that causes the problem. Whilst most sufferers only have the occasional outbreak, 10 per cent of the population, about six million people, get cold sores regularly and repeatedly over the entire course of their lives.

3. Stress is the main trigger for cold sores
Whilst stress is a key trigger for an outbreak, another factor most people won't necessarily be aware of is regular hormone imbalances. This means women are more susceptible to getting a break out than men – particularly those between the ages of 25 and 35 and also 45 and 55.

4. Keeping yourself healthy makes no difference if you have the virus
If your immune system is low and you're unwell, you're much more susceptible to getting a cold sore. So, eating a healthy diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as doing regular exercise will help you fend off colds and the flu - thus, helping to keep cold sores at bay.

5. You can only get a cold sore by kissing an infected person
It is certainly possible to get a cold sore if you kiss someone with the virus – but this isn't the only way to get them. If you've come in contact with an infected person's saliva or blisters, the virus can be passed to you. That means you can easily get one by sharing cups, towels or razors.

6. I don't have symptoms so I don't have the virus
It's true that many people don't experience symptoms when they're having an outbreak – or perhaps their symptoms are so mild they don't even notice them. This is precisely why so many people with the virus don't even realise they have it.

7. You can only get cold sores on your lips
Cold sores can appear almost anywhere on your face. It's also common to get them on or inside your nose. Some people have also reported to get them around the eye area which can be extremely uncomfortable – and difficult to hide.

8. Cold sores are only contagious when they blister
Right from that very first 'tingling' stage, a cold sore is highly contagious. This level of contagion remains in place right up to when the sore has completely healed.

9. It's difficult for me to pass the virus to my new born baby
Unfortunately, if you suffer from cold sores, your child could be in serious danger. Whilst it is rare, the NHS says cold sores can be very serious for a young baby whose immune system hasn't yet fully developed to fight off the virus.

10. Cold sores can't be prevented – only treated
This is no longer true thanks to a brand new product called lipivir®. It's a clear gel product which if applied frequently to cold-sore prone parts of the face will prevent cold sores from forming at all. It also drastically reduces the frequency of outbreaks. All other products attempt to deal with the problem by healing or disguising the open sore once they have begun. lipivir® is the only product which can be used before any signs or symptoms occur. It's also completely safe for children and babies.


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