When it comes to cold sores, old wives tales and myths regarding the best treatments are rife, which is worrying when you consider that around 80 per cent of the population carries the Herpes Simplex Virus, with many sufferers experiencing more than 12 outbreaks a year.
Tim Verhaeghe, Pharmacist at Sylphar, helps to put an end to these myths:
Cold sores are only contagious when they blister: False!
The virus which induces the cold sores is very contagious from the first ‘tingling’ stages; right up until the cold sore has completely healed. In fact 70 per cent of people who have herpes caught the virus from their partner3, when their partner had no signs or symptoms of an outbreak.
Cold sores only affect your mouth: False!
It is a common myth that if you have the Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1), it will only stay in that area. Unfortunately you may be shocked to hear, that this type of virus can spread to the eye and genital area too! Up to 40 per cent of genital herpes is caused by HSV-1.4
You will get cold sores if you have HSV-1: False!
80 per cent of the population carries HSV-1. However, 20 per cent of them regularly suffer from cold sores. It can also be active on the skin without showing any signs or symptoms.
Ice helps cold sores heal faster: False!
Ice will provide relief temporarily from the itching, redness and swelling, but it will not help speed up the healing process.
Witch hazel kills the cold sore virus: False!
The virus will not be killed by using Witch hazel. Witch hazel will dry a cold sore out but it is not actually clinically proven to speed up the healing process.
People can be cured of the herpes virus: False!
The Herpes virus cannot be cured. Unfortunately once you have the virus, there is no way to cure it. It can lay dormant for a long time, but it will always still be there. However, the cold sores caused by the Herpes virus can be treated. The main triggers of a cold sore outbreak can be assigned to external and internal causes. Fever, illness, fatigue, menstruation are some examples of internal factors. External factors are for example windburn, cold, emotional stress, drying of the lips and ultraviolet radiation.
Try Herpatch Prevention Stick - a moisturising balm that effectively helps to prevent cold sore blisters, £4.99. The balm combines a high Sun Protection Factor (SPF30), Zinc, Aloe Vera, and other skin protectants to keep lips hydrated and safeguarded from an embarrassing blister occurring.
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