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4 Ways to Avoid Cold Sore Outbreaks

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One minute you’re having a great skin day, and the next minute it’s there: a huge cold sore . . . right on your lips. It’s not the end of the world, but it also may make you want to skip work or miss out on that group hangout you’ve been looking forward to. And forget about going on a date! The good news is you can develop an action plan to get rid of that next cold sore faster, just by following these steps.

Ways to Help Prevent a Cold Sore

1. Don’t be a sharer.

You’ve been told all your life to share — snacks, drinks, pens. But when you feel the tingle of a cold sore coming on — or see someone with a cold sore — keep your hands and your personal belongings (utensils, lip balm, towels, etc.) to yourself. Same goes for your lips. As a precaution, wash your hands constantly and keep them away from your mouth as much as possible.

2. Know your triggers.

Maybe it’s stress at work or family arguments that seem to bring out the worst sores. Or when you’re pushed to the brink, you notice a cold sore. For some, emotional stress and physical exertion are known triggers. If you think you may be susceptible to a stress outbreak, try to find your happy place through meditating, journaling, or some other head-clearing, calming activity as soon as you feel stressed. Avoid any superstrenuous activities that could act as a trigger.

3. Boost your immunity.

Viral infection or fever, as well as changes to your immune system, can trigger cold sores as well. It’s tough to stave off the flu or a cold when it’s coming on, but getting proper rest, staying hydrated, and sipping warm liquids are some of your best bets for keeping yourself healthy.

4. Wear sunscreen.

If you’ve had a cold sore before, there’s a good chance that area could be sensitive to sunlight. To prevent this from happening, slather sunscreen on that spot like it’s your job. Wind may also be an irritant. A moisturizing cream should help keep your lips from cracking and becoming vulnerable to sores, especially if you spend lots of time outdoors.

If you do get a cold sore, apply Abreva. When you need to get a cold sore under control, Abreva is your best friend. Abreva is the only over-the-counter cream that’s able to get rid of a cold sore when used at the first sign. It starts working immediately1, and can get rid of your cold sore in as little as two and a half days2.

1Based on laboratory studies
2Median healing time of 4.1 days. 25% of users healed in 2.5 1/2 days.