Preparedness and Your Health: Cold Sores

by Bev Sandlin


Staying healthy is a critical part of preparedness. Please share your thoughts and experience with the SCP family! 

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Cold Sores

Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are a painful infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV 1). Cold sores most often occur on the lips, nose, and the surrounding areas. However, the cold sore virus can also be transmitted to the genitals through oral sex. Old toothbrushes can harbor the herpes virus for days, and re-infect you after current cold sores heal. To prevent the virus from reoccurring from an infectious toothbrush, get rid of it, or soak it in peroxide. Soak it or throw it away when you notice that you are beginning to get the virus. Also, you shouldn’t keep your toothbrush in a wet area, like the bathroom. Moisture helps prolong the herpes virus on your toothbrush, therefore, consider storing your toothbrush in a dry area. Besides a toothbrush, the tube of toothpaste can transmit the virus as well. Your brush goes in your mouth, as well as on the opening of your tube. If you use small tubes of toothpaste, you will be sure to replace it regularly and help prevent getting the disease. To help protect your cold sore, you can cover it with petroleum jelly, but use a cotton swab, so you won’t accidentally put the same finger you put in your mouth, back into the jelly.

Water-based zinc solutions help speed healing time, as well. To help decrease inflammation, you might try ice on the sore. It can help relieve the pain, but be sure not to leave the ice on too long, or it could result in a touch of frostbite.


A note from Rourke: If cold sore outbreaks are frequent a daily dose of 2000 to 3000 milligrams lysine can keep outbreaks at bay. Lysine is a naturally occurring amino acid and can be purchased online or at your local drug store.

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