Step 1. How to avoid catching the cold sore virus
Unfortunately there is no vaccine to prevent cold sores. However, you can recognise and avoid known risk factors to reduce your chance of contracting the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) which causes cold sores.
- Be careful who you kiss or have intercourse with.
HSV-1 is typically spread from person-to-person contact, either by kissing or close contact with the genitals. Ask potential partners if they are infected with the virus and avoid contact during the most contagious period – when active and erupting blister-like sores are present.
- Do not share food, utensils, glasses, or cutlery with other people. Also avoid sharing lip balm or towels with others.
- Practice good hygiene.
It’s rare to catch HSV-1 from contaminated surfaces, however you could get infected if you touched contaminated saliva from another person.
Step 2. How to eliminate triggers for cold sores
Once you are infected with the cold sore virus, you’ll be looking for ways to
avoid triggering a cold sore. Here are a few tips:
- Get plenty of sleep and reduce stress levels.
- Be sun smart – wear a hat and lip balm with a high SPF.
- Keep yourself warm in cold weather and regularly moisturise your lips with lip balm.
- Maintain a healthy immune system with vitamins C and D.
- Keep Vectavir on hand and apply if you start to feel tingling, itching or burning sensations around your mouth.
Step 3. Tips to reduce the spread of cold sores
Cold sores are painful, unsightly and highly contagious. Be sure to follow these simple rules to avoid passing the virus onto others or allowing cold sores to spread to other parts of your body.
- Avoid touching the infected site.
- Once you feel the tingle, avoid kissing loved ones.
- Prevent fluid from the blister coming into contact with other healthy areas of the skin.
- Avoid close contact with young children, the elderly and those with a weakened immune system.
- Do not share utensils, glasses, cutlery or towels with other people.
- Wash towels after one use to avoid spreading the infection to healthy areas of your skin.
- Wash towels at a high temperature, ideally 90ᴼC.
- Do not use contact lenses when infected as this may increase the chance of the infection spreading to the eyes.
- Apply creams, makeup and other facial products using disposable cotton buds to prevent contamination of your cosmetics.
- When applying Vectavir, use a disposable cotton swab or clean finger. Wash hands with soap immediately after application.