Take the sting out of cold sores this winter with these health tips from ChemistDirect

Share Article

As winter kicks in, health experts at ChemistDirect examine different conditions which can be triggered or exacerbated by cold weather conditions. This week, the Superintendent Pharmacist offers tips and advice on identifying and treating cold sores, and stresses the importance of taking precautions around vulnerable family members.

Cold Sores

Cold Sores can be exacerbated in cold weather

Cold sores are mainly contagious through touch – so affected people should avoid kissing others when they are suffering from a cold sore.

As temperatures plunge confirming the arrival of winter, it’s important to be aware that some health problems, such as cold sores, can be triggered or worsened by cold weather. (http://bit.ly/6yMvLs)

Cold sores are small blisters that develop on the lips or around the mouth. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus and usually clear up without treatment within 7-10 days. (http://bit.ly/9g1VOO)

Superintendent Pharmacist Omar El-Gohary said: “Cold sores are mainly contagious through touch – so affected people should avoid kissing others when they are suffering from a cold sore.

“Extra care should be taken if a sufferer has a small child, especially babies, as cold sores can be quite serious if passed onto a newborn, someone with low immunity or the elderly.”

They often start with a tingling, itching or burning sensation around the mouth, followed by the appearance of small fluid filled sores usually on the edges of the lower lip.

In September this year, research by Edinburgh University revealed that a quarter of people who suffer from cold sores produce less of a protein called Interferon-lambda, which left their immune system unable to keep the bug under control.

The research, published in the journal PLoS Pathogens showed that a quarter of Britons have this genetic flaw, making them especially prone to cold sores. (http://dailym.ai/14dk3Oq)

The virus which causes cold sores, can remain dormant for most of the time, but an outbreak can be triggered by cold weather, being stressed or rundown, or even periods in women. (http://bit.ly/1g1UkMU)

Cold sores usually clear up by themselves although there are some treatments, which can help.

El-Gohary added: “Antiviral products can help and should be applied as soon as symptoms such as burning, itching or stinging start. It’s also important to keep the area moist to prevent it scabbing, so reapplying something like Vaseline can help.

“Patches by Compeed also help to heal the cold sore and act as a shield helping to reduce the risk of passing it on to someone else.”

Anyone with concerns about a cold sore should visit their pharmacist or GP for more information and advice.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Samantha Smith
Chemist Direct
+44 1215414952 Ext: 205
Email >
Follow us on
Visit website