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How to Prevent Recurring Cold Sores

A cold sore, also called oral herpes, is a cluster of little fluid-filled blisters caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). Not only are cold sores uncomfortable, but they also can make you feel incredibly self-conscious.


In reality, about 70 percent of American adults get cold sores, according to the HC Support Network. Around the globe, a whopping 90 percent of adults have tested positive for the cold sore virus, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Now, it’s important to note that a cold sore is not the same as a canker sore. Canker sores are bacterial infections that occur in the mouth. They look like little white circles and are not contagious, whereas cold sores are highly contagious.
For those who have had an oral herpes outbreak, you are likely to have another down the road. But, rest assured, because there are things you can do to help prevent that next cold sore from occurring at your big meeting or on family photo day.

According to the Mayo Clinic, oral herpes can be triggered by fever, menstruation, stress, fatigue and exposure to the sun. So, a good start in preventing an outbreak is to focus on mitigating these triggers as much as possible.

For one, stay healthy. People who don’t have a nutritious diet are more likely to suffer from repeated cold sore occurrences. Drink lots of water andeat foods high in lysine, like lean meats and dairy products, as suggested in an article on WikiHow. You should also consume more fruits and vegetables to help boost your immune system, like oranges, broccoli and onion.

What should you stay away from? Avoid chocolates, nuts and whole grains. These foods are high in arginine, which is a building block for the herpes virus and helps it to spread. Other foods to watch out for are processed meat products, artificial sweeteners, white sugars, alcohol and caffeine.

Stress is a big trigger for oral herpes, so figure out what relaxes you. Try meditation. Another great tip is to exercise more. Aerobic exercise can help you relax, and it fights stress, anxiety and even depression, according to “Exercising to Relax,” an article published in Harvard Men’s Health Watch.

If you are going out in the sun, be sure to protect your skin. Wear sunscreen and try an SPF lip balm.
Rememberthere is no full-proof way to prevent cold sores from occurring. However, you can gain some control by fighting the triggers.


The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.