Cold sores are the nasty, red, fluid-filled blisters that appear on the skin. They are contagious and are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). The mouth, lips, throat and genitals are some of the areas that are easily affected and you must avoid cold sores from spreading as early as possible. Cold sores are not only unsightly but are also itchy and annoying. It may also be accompanied with fever and aches especially to children.
Direct skin contact or through things that had contact with the blisters helps spread cold sores from one area of the skin to another or to other people. Kissing, touching or oral sex are the common ways of spreading the virus.
Neverheless, cold sores can be invented from spreading. The following are ways to avoid cold sores from spreading.
Avoid skin contact with people that already had the blisters.
To avoid cold sores from spreading, avoid skin contact. Some people that may have the herpes simplex virus may not easily manifest cold sores. However, if you happen to spot red patches on their skin and if you suspect them as cold sores, then better avoid direct skin contact. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Keep your hands clean.
Our hands come in contact with a lot of things so it is not surprising if one of these is the herpes simplex virus. Keep your hands clean to avoid cold sores. Moreover, touching an area of the skin that already has cold sores into another unaffected area spreads the cold sores into other areas of the skin. Hand washing improves the chances of avoiding not only cold sores but other diseases as well.
Use your own, good stuff.
Things that had contact with cold sore blisters may help spread the virus. Toothbrushes and towels are typically moist and warm, providing the conditions that viruses love growing on. Make sure they are always clean, dry and nobody else uses them to avoid cold sores from spreading.
Do not scratch that scab.
Cold sores begin as red patches, then become fluid-filled blisters before finally bursting, leaving a raw skin area to heal and to scab. Scratching the sores or scabs may disrupt the healing process and make it hard to avoid cold sores from spreading. This also makes the broken skin prone to infection.
If the person suffering from cold sores also has atopic dermatitis, extra care must be done to avoid cold sores from spreading into the dermatitis as this would allow the sores to spread into a larger area of the skin. Always keep the sores clean and dry.
Stress, illness and fatigue weakens the body's immune system, making it more vulnerable to viral infections. These also trigger the recurrence of cold sores. Avoid cold sores by eating a healthy balanced diet, exercise and getting enough sleep.
Load up with lysine!
It was found out that lysine helps in healing the swilling of cold sores. Lysine can be found in potatoes and dairy-rich products. However, pregnant or nursing mothers are not advised to take up lysine since it can interfere with infant growth and development.
Ultraviolet rays from the sun increases the chances of cold sore recurrence. Use sun block to avoid cold sores.
Go natural or over-the-counter.
There are a number of remedies available at pharmacist's shops to treat and avoid cold sores. Cymex and 5% acyclovir cream are the popular products and can be bought without prescription. However, acyclovir cream should not be used on the lips since it may cause irritation. Antiviral medication may also be taken along especially during the initial phase of the cold sore.
Natural remedies may also be used. Lemon balm, tea and Echinacea all have anti-viral properties. Vaseline may be applied to the scabs to avoid cold sores from cracking.
If things get worse, visit the doctor.
Cold sores are sign of a weak immune system and may signal more serious illnesses like pneumonia or HIV. If there are other symptoms besides the appearance of cold sores, it is best to consult a medical doctor for further examination and to avoid cold sores from spreading.