Causes and Triggers of Cold Sores
or treatments that weaken the immune system
or other illnesses
Burt’s Bees Rapid Rescue Cold Sore Treatment promotes the healing of cold sores from the first use and relieves pain on contact.
Stress can weaken the immune system, making it easier for HSV-1 to reactivate and cause a cold sore. To prevent this, use stress-management techniques — get good sleep, exercise regularly, and take time to relax.
Too much sun exposure
Ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause cold sore flare-ups, either by direct reactivation of the cold sore virus or by weakening the immune system. When you’re spending time outside, especially on sunny days, be sure to wear skin and lip products with at least SPF 30, which has been found to reduce the risk of cold sore flares.
When you’re experiencing large fluctuations in your hormone levels, the likelihood of a cold sore flare-up increases.
treatments that weaken the immune system
People undergoing bone marrow transplants or cancer treatments may be required to take medications that suppress their immune systems. These immunosuppressants often lead to reactivation of the cold sore virus. Research suggests that using antivirals during these periods can help prevent cold sore flares.
No foods have been shown to cause cold sores, but if you have an infection already coming on, it may help to avoid foods that contain high amounts of the amino acid arginine. That’s because the cold sore virus needs arginine to replicate. Arginine-rich foods include meat, beans, and dairy.
COLDS OR OTHER ILLNESSES
Fighting off another infection can make it hard for your immune system to keep the herpes virus suppressed, which can lead to reactivation and the formation of cold sores. Colds, fevers, and the flu all increase your risk of a cold sore flare-up.