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8 Tips for Saving Face Despite a Cold Sore

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No, not another cold sore! This is my typical exclamation when I feel that telltale tingling—most often on my lips or around my mouth. I know it’s a matter of days before the imminent arrival of an embarrassing fluid-filled blister, followed by the dreaded and painful oozing, bursting, and unsightly crust formation. However, if you suffer from herpes simplex virus Type 1, like me, you’re always worried about the next outbreak. It can come on suddenly and at the worst of times in the wake of too much sunlight, stress, lack of sleep, or even during your period.

Luckily, after dealing with cold sores for years, I’ve know that it’s vital to have a few tried and true cold sore treatments on hand…

1. Ice and Heat

Researchers at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at Pennsylvania State University, recommend alternating heat and cold to lessen the pain of cold sore blisters and also to reduce swelling.

You can either apply an ice cube directly to the cold sore or apply a heat compress followed by a cold compress (or frozen cloth) to the area. Research shows that when cold and heat are applied early enough (at the very first sign of a cold sore) patients often get a smaller blister than usual.

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