Cold sores are caused by the virus herpes simplex. Once you have the virus, you have it for life. Outbreaks happen when this virus is activated by lip injury (e.g. dry, chapped lips), sunlight, extreme heat or cold, cold or flu, sleep deprivation, stress, menstruation.
Abreva contains 10% docosanol which strengthens cell membranes to prevent virus entry. It is applied as soon as onset of cold sore (e.g. tingling feeling) 5 times a day. Abreva shortens the outbreak by half from 8 days to 4 and eliminate itchy burning pain in 2 days.
To reduce outbreaks, do the following:
- Use a lip moisturizer to prevent chapping
- Use a lip balm with a sunscreen agent
- Avoid contact with people who have cold or flu symptoms
- Find something relaxing to do if stressed out
- Eat well to boost the immune system