Don’t you just hate the fact that just when the fun starts the lips get tingly for all the wrong reasons!  I’m talking cold sores and I have had enough, thank you very much!

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus and once you have it in your blood, it likes to stay.  Up to 90% of adults have antibodies to the virus in their bloodstream meaning that at some point in time, they have come under attack. However,  only about 30% of these will  go on to develop symptoms.

Well,  with this being a beauty site and me being a chemist rather than an MD that’s about all I can say on the medical side of the matter but I do want to talk a little about why they come out to play when the sun shines. 

Our bodies thrive given the chance to frolic in a good UV bath but stay too long and we start to get wrinkly!  Just how much is too much varies from individual to individual but one thing is for sure, once your skin starts to protest your immune system will have already decided to tone things down a little to prevent a drama queen reaction.

What am I talking about?

Well,  expose your skin to UV radiation for too long and it starts to go red and burn.  Burning is BAD news and bad news in the body usually means that the immune system will go into overdrive in order to ‘save you’.  However, this can’t afford to happen in the sun as the sun should not be something that we are allergic to and so in most people the immune system switches its self off to prevent it from causing any problems.  As our immune system body-guard is now dozing on the job, that cheeky little cold sore virus see a window of opportunity and BOOM, there in.  Pair this with the fact that sun burned skin is usually a bit dryer than usual (leaving the barrier function compromised) and you end up with a fat lip (or two).

And that’s not the only time that cold sores take hold, I have just had a microdermabrasion session followed by some serious skin care creams and just look at the present I got!

Cold Sores. It 'ain't pretty!

And then there’s the time when you got stressed out over something, forgot to go to bed at a reasonable time or just got a little run down.

Cold Sores are like a really annoying relative that knocks on the door as they are opening it, leaving you with no time to run out the back! BUT you can fight back.   I am a bit lazy and always forget to keep the cream handy but for all of you model citizens out there I can thoroughly recommend (in my non MD way)  a quick trip to the chemist for some medicated balm followed by some healthy food, plenty of water and a day off worrying!

I will just keep my fingers crossed that they don’t spread!

Oh, and by the way, when you have cold sores make sure that you treat the area with care as the virus spreads easily and can infect your face, the inside of your nose and even your eyes.