I once had a job that made me so stressed I had cold sores for four months. Four. Whole. Months. That’s a long time to openly advertise that you’ve got herpes (albeit herpes simplex).
They’d simmer down by the end of every second Sunday night. But back in the office, by Monday lunchtime, I’d be biting at an annoying itch on my lip, waiting for the tingle that proved they were back. By Tuesday, with a regularity you could bank on, the blisters would appear at the corner of my mouth. It hurt to eat; if I laughed they’d bleed (not that I had a lot to laugh about at that particular time). I couldn’t kiss my partner, and anything more, ummm, intimate was well off the menu. Lipstick was out. Eating a burger? Impossible.
Cold sores are embarrassing. They’re in your face because they’re on your face. They scab and weep and you feel diseased. What’s worse, there’s no way to get rid of them. Once they’re in your system, they’re there forever. I’ve tried creams and lotions and even dabbed them with metho (the sting was so, so gratifying).
So in my book, anything that gives them a shorter life span has to be a very, very good thing.
Cold sores, like clockwork, tend to turn up at the most inopportune times. Not surprising really, given they are often triggered by stress or a lowered immune system.
An outbreak can be set off by (among other things):
2. Infection, colds and flu
3. Ultraviolet radiation, such as a sunburn
6. Changes in the immune system
8. Food allergies
10. Dental work.