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Four Simple Ways to Prevent a Cold Sore

By Dr. Kristie

Cold sores are both painful and unattractive but for many people they’re a fact of life. Those nasty little blisters are caused by the very common Herpes simplex virus. This virus lives a very comfortable life in nerve endings found on the skin until they’re inspired to wake up and exert their unsightly effects. Most people can tell when a new cold sore is coming on by the tingling sensation they feel at the site. This is usually followed by appearance of the characteristic blister. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent the appearance of a cold sore:

Prevent a cold sore: Practice general good health.

One factor that causes the herpes simplex virus to wake up and form a cold sore is a temporary decrease in immunity. If you’re not getting enough sleep or eating a poor diet, you may be setting yourself up for a battle with a cold sore. Stress may also play a role in decreasing your immunity and increasing your risk for a cold sore.

Prevent a cold sore: Practice good hygiene.

Because the Herpes simplex virus lives in the nerve endings on your skin, once you have the virus, you’ll always have the potential for reinfection. The virus can also be spread quite readily from person to person by sharing personal care items, such as toothbrushes and lipsticks, with an infected person. The virus is most transmissible during the active stages of infection when the blister is weeping small amounts of liquid filled with the virus. The simple act of not sharing personal care items with others and washing your hands frequently can do a lot to prevent transmission of the virus.

Prevent a cold sore: Watch your sun exposure.

Ultraviolet light can activate the Herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores. If you plan on being outside for prolonged periods of time, wear a good sunscreen and take the added precaution of putting on a wide brimmed hat to protect your face from the rays of the sun.

Prevent a cold sore: Take a lysine supplement.

Lysine is an amino acid that appears to have the ability to inhibit the growth of cold sores. Taking 1,000 milligrams of this amino acid on a daily basis may reduce the severity of cold sore symptoms as well as decrease its duration. This supplement can be found at your local health food store. Be sure to check with your doctor before using this supplement. Too much of another amino acid known as arginine can trigger cold sores which is found in high quantities in chocolate and nuts. To reduce your incidence of cold sores, get a listing of foods high in arginine and reduce your consumption of them.

By taking a few simple steps, you can help to prevent an uncomfortable cold sore from making its grand appearance. Why not give these ideas a try?

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