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Why Do I Keep Getting Cold Sores?

Updated on January 17, 2019
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Evie Sparkes is a published novelist. Evie has a passion for fashion, hair, make-up and skin-care.

The Cold Sore Virus

Unfortunately once you have the virus, you have it for life. It lies dormant in your system to be activated at will!

That's what it feels like anyway. I picked up the virus from my Dad many years ago. It was like, wham. He forgot he had a cold sore as he kissed me goodbye and then said, oh it'll be okay, you won't get one. Famous last words. Seriously, I got one a few days later!

Since then, I'd get one a year perhaps. Not too bad, I could cope with that. They are painful and they look horrible, but they aren't the end of the world. You can live with one but you'd rather not.

When Sores Keep Coming Back

Over the last few years I have had more than my fair share. I had four last year and I've had one this far.

The worst thing about having one is that you have to see people. You can't hide away until it's gone, even though that's what you'd most like to do. I see clients so have to do a cover job, that always but always looks like a cover job!

What Causes Them

  • Stress
  • Worry
  • Injury
  • Strong Sunlight
  • Abrasion

My Recurrance

I have had a light bulb moment. I didn't realise that injury to the area could cause cold sores. I should have, but I didn't.

My lips get very sore and dry in the Winter. I do my best to keep them moisturised and most of the time I do it well. Sometimes however, I do all of the right things, and still I get one.

Glycolic Acid Cream

This it turns out, is the source of my issue. I use a glycolic cream or mask a few times a week. That's fine, it is wonderful for anti-ageing. It is not so wonderful if you are prone to cold sores.

From time to time, I get too close to my lips with glycolic when they are sore from the cold weather and central heating. My son Harry and I are constantly applying vaseline to our lips in the Winter. He suffers the same way.

The very next day after such a mishap, I have a cold sore forming! I can't believe I didn't get the correlation before now. It seems so obvious.

Winter Colds

I rarely get a cold. I have one now but that's the first in two years. What I get in it's place is a cold sore!

Sometimes I might get both. They are common just before a cold sets in.



Yep! Stay away from anyone that has a cold sore. Well, stay away from their lips anyway! It's a pretty done deal, that you will pick one up if you kiss someone that has the active virus.

You can tell if it's active as it will look like it is! I can't stress enough, how vital it is to run away, and fast!


Foods to Avoid

Poor diet will leave your immune system weak and vulnerable to an outbreak of cold sores. Arginine-rich foods can be particularly troublesome. Unfortunately, arginine can often be found in healthy foods too, so what to avoid?

  • Nuts
  • Chocolate
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Oats
  • Wheat

Almost impossible to avoid. Chocolate in particular....

Pineapple is supposed to be great if you have a cold sore, but it can also cause them. This is clearly something Mother Nature finds amusing!

Can You Prevent A Cold Sore?

According to researchers Thein and Hurt, oral supplementation of l-lysine raised the lysine serum levels in volunteers, and reduced the frequency of cold sore outbreaks. A double-blind placebo study conducted by Dr. Mark McCune confirmed the results.

Okay, so this maybe worth a try for some. The problem with taking a supplement to prevent something from occurring is that it's sort of always there on your mind, even if it's in the background.

Don't stress about getting one

If you think you may have one coming but aren't sure, then just apply a topical cream and then stop thinking about it. Don't pull at your lip, rub or poke at it. Leave it alone and hope for the best.


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