SO today’s post is something that you don’t really see talked about on blogs a lot….. COLD SORES. These little buggers aren’t on most people hot topics but can be the bane of some people’s lives.
They aren’t pretty, not only are they something you can’t really hide, they can actually be really uncomfortable. For those of you who have never had one (lucky you) you may not be aware of what they are, what causes them or be unsure whether to believe some of the myths you may have heard.
So the common cold sore is caused by the Herpes virus (not the strain you get down there) and can be caught very easily through contact with others who have a cold sore, including on towels etc. and pretty much anybody can get infected. The virus stays in your body and can cause the cold sore if your immune system becomes compromised, even the simplest cold can trigger them. They can also be triggered by stress and things like the weather.
Post-face ruining scab, people can experience tingling and itchiness (which is worse because touching it only helps spread it), blisters break out and when they eventually burst it scabs over. This can turn into a horrible vicious cycle of scratching of the scab only for it to scab again, until eventually your skin heals. Symptoms can range from a couple of days to an ugly couple of weeks.
My top tips:
- The creams you can buy aren’t a gimmick, an amazing drug called acyclovir found in most creams such as Zovirax is involved in some amazing science (my fave thing) to help treat the outbreak however are pretty much only effective pre-scabbing stage. Other creams like toothpaste can be used during the blister as it helps to dry them out (similar to when you use it for spots)
- Try not to let it make you feel too self-conscious! Ignorant people who may stare or ask you what is, purely because they don’t understand. Just as a person can’t help getting spots, a cold sore is only a temporary inconvenience that you can’t prevent.
- Try not to cover it. Whacking loads of concealer on top of a cold sore can be so tempting but honestly leaving it exposed will help it heal so much better plus if you use makeup brushes or sponges with foundation/concealer you may spread the cold sore further.
- Treating a cold sore early is vital. I’ve heard from so many people to apply a cold wet tea bag as soon as you feel a tingling (not sure why this helps) but I’ve done it before and it was a miracle. Give it a try next time!
- Be mindful of others. As you’d expect kissing is kind of off the cards for a while, but you have to be mindful of other things like sharing straws, towels and bedding.