Cold sores are small, fluid-filled pockets that appear around your mouth and on your lips. You can get many patches of cold sores during an outbreak. These can last for a week or more, causing pain and inconvenience. There might not be preventive tips for cold sores. However, we can learn how to avert the spread of cold sores. Let us look at some such methods.
Cold sores are formed by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). This virus is highly contagious and can quickly spread from one person to another. Your chances of infecting someone are more if you have an active sore. So, you need to take precautions to avoid spreading the virus to anyone until your cold sores go away completely. Some major ways to avoid its spread are mentioned below.
1. Avoid making physical contact
Avoid skin-to-skin contact with anyone when you have cold sores. This includes any sexual contact, kissing, and contact sports, especially until the sore is healed. Take special care to prevent contact with babies or people with a weak immune system, as they are more vulnerable to the virus.
2. Avoid touching cold sores
Prevent yourself from picking at the cold sore blister in any way, be it touching or scratching it. If you do so, the HSV-1 virus will spread to your hands, from where it can easily get transmitted to other parts of your body. It is also possible that the virus gets transmitted to anyone else through your hand. Wash your hands carefully if you touch your sore for any reason.
3. Avoid sharing personal items
Sharing is caring when you are healthy. However, if you have cold sores, prevent sharing your personal items like utensils, towels, and toothbrushes. Also, avoid sharing any cosmetic products like foundation, lip gloss, and lipstick since there is a high probability that these might have come into contact with the HPV-1 virus.
4. Avoiding exposure to sunlight
Sunlight is found to be a trigger in some people for cold sores. Hence, if you face a similar issue, always apply a good layer of sunscreen before stepping out.
5. Replacing personal items
The things you use when you have cold sores, especially your toothbrush, need to be replaced once you have completely healed. This will make sure that you do not get an infection again when using the old item.
If you get this condition, preventive tips for cold sores will not help, and you will need to wait until the infection runs its course. However, methods on avoiding the spread of cold sores can help anyone close to you from getting infected and prevent you from re-infection.