I Feel A Cold Sore Coming On...


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cold sore.jpg


I may sound crazy, but I have had cold sores so long that I literally know when one is coming. It feels like a slight tingle or I start to see the tiniest bump, usually on my top lip.  I can even predict when one will come days in advance because they seem to be triggered by the same things. When I am really sick I can almost always expect that I will see a red spot form by the next day. The same thing happens when I am really stressed as well.  This was always a huge problem in high school because when I was freaking out about my prom dress or date, I could always count on it getting worse when I was greeted the day of a dance with a mark that would most definitely ruin every single picture of the big day.  I eventually got cold sores so bad that the doctor finally gave me medicine to take when I feel that first tingle and it has been a life saver so far.  Although, sometimes a cold sore is inevitable (like the one I have now thanks to my strep throat.) I started to wander... are my cold sore triggers the same as other people or are there causes more common for that dreaded spot that is guaranteed to ruin your day?

 

According to Time magazine, I am definitely not the only one suffering from cold sores. Actually, "by age 40, nearly 90% of adults have been exposed to the herpes simplex virus-1, which causes cold sores."  Herpes? Yes, I know...gross. But a cold sore is caused by a type of herpes that is usually dormant until it is triggered by an outside source (i.e. stress, sunlight).

 

MayoClinic also talked about some of the most common causes of cold sores. Fever, menstruation, stress, fatigue, and exposure to sun are all triggers of cold sores. The site also says that people with weaker immune systems are more likely to get cold sores, which makes sense since I seem to have the worst immune system on the planet.

 

A recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Edinburgh discovered a gene, IL28B, which was found in most of the 20 people who had a cold sore during the study.  The gene is "unable to produce the necessary protein, leaving the body's immune system unable to fend off sores."

 

Whether it's the gene IL28B, the sun or just stress, how does one cope with this disgusting/painful thing on your face? Well, from my experience nothing works better than Abreva.  Also, never pick or pop cold sores! The best thing to do is try to stay healthy and stress-free, but this may actually be impossible as a college student!



2 Comments

I had never gotten a cold sore until the week before I moved in here. I didn't know why I randomly had it or what it even was. Now it makes sense that I had gotten it from the stress of leaving home and maybe it was even irritated by too much sun. I tried popping it a lot and it didn't seem to help but did cause a scar! Next time I get one I will be sure to leave it alone and try Abreva, thanks! I also found a product called CsoreX that not only treats cold sores but can also prevent them!

Dana,

I am surprised that I have never heard of CsoreX since I have had cold sores ever since I could remember. I will have to try it out! But I always get cold sores when I come to school because I get so stressed out and I'm sure that is where yours came from as well!

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