Coping with cold sores

Those pesky cold sores on the lips and around the mouth always seem to pop up at the most inopportune times.

Not only are cold sores painful, dealing with their appearance can be frustrating! But you’re not alone in dealing with this nuisance. In fact, more than half of the U.S. population carries the herpes simplex virus 1, the virus that causes cold sores, by the time they reach their 20s, according to the National Institutes of Health.

While the causes of breakouts aren’t fully understood, some triggers have been identified, including sun exposure, stress, menstruation, and fever or illness. They can also be brought on by other infections or even certain foods and drugs. For many, cold sore outbreaks can be unpredictable.

The first symptoms of a cold sore may include pain around your mouth and on your lips, a fever, sore throat, or swollen glands in your neck or other parts of the body. After the blisters appear, the cold sore usually breaks open, emits a clear fluid, then crusts over and disappears after several days to two weeks; sometimes they can be very painful.

Naturally, having a cold sore may make you feel self-conscious. And, while no product can cure a cold sore (as in remove the virus from one’s system), there are many tips for managing cold sores outbreaks:

Ask your doctor about anti-viral prescription medications to limit the virus’ growth.

• Live a healthy lifestyle. Eat right, exercise, get plenty of sleep, and avoid stress.

• Avoid long exposure to the sun.

• Keep your lips moisturized. Cold sores can be linked to dry or cracked lips so keep them moisturized   with a lip balm that contains sun protection.

• A variety of treatments can alleviate symptoms. One new product that may help you feel more comfortable and confident while managing a cold sore outbreak is new Carmex Cold Sore Treatment. It works on contact to block pain and itch with 10% benzocaine, and ingredients in the formula smooth and fill to make the cold sore appearance less noticeable.

More tips for managing a cold sore outbreak can be found at While there may be no cure for a cold sore, there are steps you can take to look and feel better faster.


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