It is estimated that 5 to 10 out of 100 people who have cold sores get them more than five times a year. As you get older, the rate and severity of an outbreak decline, unlike children who can receive them more frequently. Unfortunately, there is no way to get rid of cold sores completely, and they are likely to recur periodically. However, there are measures you can take to reduce your chance of experiencing a cold sore outbreak.
Cold sore prevention tips include:
Learning what your triggers are and avoiding them. View our list of triggers to watch out for.
Stay healthy. Coming down with a fever or illness can cause cold sores to occur. By taking care of yourself, your chances of having another outbreak will decrease.
Get enough sleep each night. Lack of sleep causes fatigue and weakens your immune system. It’s important to give your body the rest it deserves so you stay healthy.
Protect your lips from the sun. Cold sores can activate from a sunburn. Consider wearing a lip balm with SPF to protect your lips from sun damage.
Avoid cold/windy weather conditions. Freezing climates can cause lips to crack and a cold sore is likely to activate.
Drink lots of water. Keeping your lips hydrated can lessen the chance of them becoming chapped. While dehydration isn’t the only cause of dry lips, it can be a factor.
Reduce stress. Stress can weaken your immune system, causing an excellent opportunity for the cold sore virus to activate and produce sores. With compromised immune cells, it will be harder for your body to fight against the infection.
Clean and sanitize. Thoroughly clean surfaces and areas that could have been touched after someone touched a cold sore. If you have children and your child experiences cold sores, clean your child’s toys thoroughly.