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How Coffee Affects Cold Sores

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Coffee, and the sweet, sweet buzz it provides, is a staple for many Americans. According to the AARP, 90 percent of all Americans consume some form of caffeine every single day. And now that the weather is warmer, there’s a good chance you’ll be enjoying your caffeine in the form of iced coffee or cold brew. In fact, in 2017 alone, cold brew coffee experienced an 80 percent growth in sales from the previous year.

Why do we love iced coffee so much? Temperature itself may not be the answer. Cold brews, and cold coffees in general, actually deliver more caffeine to your system than regular hot, drip coffee. Is the mystery behind your iced coffee obsession getting clearer?

But what if we told you that the caffeine in your iced coffee may be inhibiting your ability to heal? Let’s dig a little deeper into the science and figure out how iced coffee may be slowing your cold sore from healing.

Caffeine and Healing

How does caffeine play a role in your ability (or inability) to heal a cold sore? A small study by the Faculty of Medical Sciences at The University of the West Indies published in the July 2014 International Wound Journal discovered a link between caffeine and worsening cold sores.

The study authors concluded that caffeine, which is known to have antioxidant properties, impedes keratinocyte proliferation and migration, suggesting that it may have an inhibitory effect on wound healing. If this research proves to be the real truth about caffeine, the more you consume, the slower you’ll heal any wound, including a cold sore.

Before you ditch all caffeine-laced drinks and live the life of a half-asleep zombie, it must be noted that this is a small in-vitro study without definitive evidence or supplementary research. The study itself shines a light on this uncertainty when the authors concede that “the effect of caffeine on wound healing is currently unknown.” What you can conclude from this research is that there’s a chance that caffeine might make your cold sores worse or slower to heal.

How to Heal a Cold Sore

What’s the solution? Try Abreva. Abreva can get rid of your cold sore in two-and-a-half days when used at the first sign1, which means you can get back to all of your summer activities feeling confident! Coffee may or may not slow your cold sore from healing, but Abreva will definitely help heal it fast.

1 Median healing time of 4.1 days; 25% of users healed in 2 1/2 days