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Why a Day at the Beach May Trigger a Cold Sore

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When warm weather finally arrives, most of us can hardly wait to gather up our beach towels, coolers, and sunglasses and make a beeline straight for the beach. While we all know that slathering ourselves in SPF is essential for sun protection (and keeping wrinkles at bay), there’s one part of our bodies that many of us forget to protect before heading out: our lips. And for those of us who battle cold sores, forgetting to show our lips TLC in the sun may be increasing our chances of an outbreak.

How a Day at the Beach Can Trigger a Cold Sore

Putting on lip balm is a no-brainer in the winter; however, just because the weather warms up doesn’t mean you should toss your favorite tube. Our lips can get sunburned the same way our skin can, so lip balm with SPF is essential for anyone who’s going to be spending hours in the sun.

If cold sores are a part of your life, it’s doubly important to wear lip balm with SPF, as UV-ray sun exposure can trigger a cold sore.

Protecting Yourself From Cold Sores at the Beach

If your beach day is going to be several hours long, make sure you carry some man-made sun protection with you; namely, an umbrella (although figuring out how to actually secure it into the sand requires a whole other post!) and a hat that shades your face. Keep your sunblock and your lip balm together and make sure to apply both every three hours.

It’s also important to personalize your towels and your water bottle, as sharing these items can cause the cold sore virus to spread.

Finally, if you start to feel a tingle before you even make it to the beach, make sure to use Abreva on the affected area. Abreva cream contains the only non-prescription cold sore ingredient approved by the FDA to shorten healing time. When used at the first sign, Abreva can get rid of your cold sore in two and a half days1, which means you can spend more time having fun this summer, and less time worrying about cold sores!

1 Median healing time 4.1 days. 25% of users healed in 2.5 days.