The situation is all too familiar: You feel a tingling on your lip and a small, hard spot you can’t see. Sure enough, in a day or two, a red blister pops up on your lip. It’s another cold sore, probably happening at a bad time, and there’s no way to hide it or make it go away.
Well take heart, cold sore treatments have improved a lot in the last few years. There are now ways you can make them heal quicker, or even stop them from appearing if you catch them in time.
What causes cold sores?
Cold sores are caused by a virus called the herpes simplex type one, or HSV1. If you get cold sores, then it’s quite likely you caught this virus when you were a child, from someone else who had a cold sore.
About 80% of people are carriers of HSV1 and 25% of these people actually get cold sore attacks from the virus. The virus stays in your nerve cells until something triggers it to produce a cold sore. We now know that there are common triggers which can cause cold sores. They include:
- Sun exposure and getting sunburnt
- Colds, and other infection like gastro or the flu
- Being tired and run down
- Getting your period
- An injury to your mouth or having dental treatment