15 Things You Need To Do If You Have A Cold Sore

A big, pus-filled zit on the chin is something that, I think we can all agree, makes most of us not want to leave the house for a week, unless you can somehow get away with wearing a full Halloween mask. Still, as annoying as gigantic pimples are, I would say that cold sores are even worse. If you get cold sores, I’m sure you agree that they’re pretty terrible–when I feel one of those coming on, I want to automatically go into hibernation mode until it disappears. However, that’s not realistic for the majority of us. We have busy lives to lead, cold sore or no cold sore.

Luckily, we don’t have to completely suffer through our days with a cold sore until the thing clears up on its own. There are ways you can treat it which will help clear that sucker up faster. Have a look at 15 things you need to do ASAP when you have a cold sore.

1. Stop touching it.



No, seriously stop. And “inspecting” it still counts as touching. You need to leave that thing alone, otherwise you’re going to create more issues.


2. Pick up a cold sore treatment.



Good news: You don’t even need to go to your doctor to get one. There are actually a lot of good cold sore treatments that are available over the counter so head to the drugstore ASAP. FYI: You can get creams, gels, or even patches.


3. Stop using lip products.



Do you think that a bit of lipstick will help camouflage your cold store? Well, it won’t really. Besides, are you ever going to want to use that lipstick again when your cold sore is gone? No, because you could leave some of the residue from your cold sore in the product, which could mean that you become infected again every single time you use it.


4. Keep hydrated.



I know that this one might seem random, but it’s important. Keeping hydrated is key for your body in general, but it will help with the healing of that pesky cold sore, too.


5. Avoid the urge to pick it.



Touching is bad enough, but picking it is even worse. Just the thought of it is making my lip burn. You don’t want to be making the situation worse with picking because that can lead to irritation and even infection. And absolutely no popping.


6. Be careful when eating.



Basically, just stay away from sweets. Sugar tastes good, sure, but it can cause the skin to become more inflamed and make it harder for the cold sore to heal.


7. Know when to see a doctor.



Normally cold sores can clear up within one to two weeks on their own, or with an over-the-counter treatment. However, it’s important that you’re aware of the signs of infections or complications. If things suddenly start getting painful, or you start feeling unwell, go to your doctor right away.


8. Stop smooching.



You probably don’t feel like making out with that honking cold sore, but if you did, note that it’s not the best idea. You don’t want to spread the germs to bae. Thankfully, there are other types of *sexy* activities that don’t involve our mouths.


9. …And don’t be sharing foods, drinks, or makeup with anyone.



Sharing is not caring when it comes to cold sores. You want to keep this one to yourself and not spread it by using the same stuff as other people.


10. Think about getting antiviral medication.



In addition to creams and patches, there’s also oral medication that you can get with a prescription if you visit a dermatologist. This might be worth looking into if you get cold sores often.


11. Be careful brushing your teeth.



Some people might find brushing their teeth to be unpleasant when they have a cold sore. You’ll also want to be careful if you’re using a strong mouthwash because that stuff can burn. Also, make sure you’re not drinking that mouthwash directly from the bottle. If you have been, you won’t want to be using it afterwards. #Germs


12. Avoid giving oral sex.



Blowjobs and cunnilingus are off the table. Even if you’re using a dental dam or a condom, it’s not worth the risk of spreading the cold sore virus. Wait for another day, okay?


13. Ensure you always wash your hands after you apply you creams and gels.



You’ll want to minimize touching your cold sore, but you’re going to have to do it when you’re applying your treatment creams. Once you do that, ensure that you always wash your hands afterwards to stop the spread of the virus. Oh, and make sure you’re washing your hands beforehand, too. No one wants grubby fingers when applying any medication.


14. Be careful of foundation, concealers, and beauty tools.



You might have left off the lippies, but you’ll want to be very careful if you’re going around the lip area with foundation, concealer, and any beauty tools like brushes or sponges. It’s probably best to play it safe and avoid the area entirely.


15. Try to figure out your triggers.



It might seem lame, but it’s a good idea to write down when you have a cold sore and what was going on in your life because this can help you identify what causes them. They can be caused by random things including stress, the sun, and even our periods, so make notes of all those to try and minimize them in the future.


How do you deal with cold sores? Let us know in the comments!

You can follow the author, Heather Cichowski, on Twitter.


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