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Cold Sores

Q: I suffer from cold sores particularly when away on an expedition job exposed to sun and working long hours under stressful conditions. What do you recommend to stave off the initial sore and or deal with it when full blown?
Many thanks. Duncan (by email)

A: Cold sores are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and the virus can lie dormant in the body for most of the time. Under certain circumstances the virus becomes reactivated and this is when it causes another cold sore. One typical cold sore trigger is stress, but it varies from person to person. Common triggers are also bright sunlight and cold winds. When the virus is activated, it travels back to the skin, causing a tingling sensation. When the sore appears, it's itchy, painful and embarrassing because it's so noticeable.

Many people know when a cold sore is on its way because they feel a tell-tale tingle. When this happens, I would recommend applying THEMBA, a cream rich in the fruit of the Kigelia Africana, every hour if possible and continue to do so to reduce the severity of the attack and encourage faster healing. 

Also take 500mg twice daily of the anti herpes amino acid L-Lysine during the attack. Upon relief reduce the dose to one daily.

It's also very important to always wash your hands after touching the cold sore and avoid putting your fingers near your eyes. If sores develop around the eyes you should always seek medical attention. It is also important to change your toothbrush after a cold sore outbreak.

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