I'm a little late to the party so I'm afraid I might not get much of a response here.
Do any of you get cold sores? How do you treat them or avoid getting them?
I used to get them ALL the time as a kid but then for about 10-12 years I never got any. Now I'm back to getting them again Seems like if I get out in the sun too much or if my lips get chapped in the wind, it seems to trigger one. Sometimes one will show up for no reason at all.
I've tried the expensive prescription stuff that's supposed to help and it really doesn't. The thing still has to run its course.
Does anything work??
"Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower
It is not a vitamin B deficiency. The reason your boosting B works is that B is a great stress vitamin and HSV1 (the herpes virus that causes cold sores) goes lytic under stress -physical (injury, sunburn, etc) or emotional as they both translate to chemical signals.
Valtrex is highly efficacious against the herpes viruses (HSV and Zoster types). Take it at the tingle and you'll get no lesions. It's a good thing to keep in your medicine cabinet. The thing with topicals and waiting for a lesion is that you're closing the barn door after the horse has bolted. The lesions are dead and dying cells, and white blood cells. The topical at this stage may soften the sore and make you feel better.
He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).
Abreva and L-Lysine, and sometimes Valtrex. If you have the virus (a version of herpes, but different than the VD version) which most people do, than you get them. When you do not have enough lysine (an amino acid) the virus can start replicating so taking a lot of it when you think you might be getting a cold sore can help stamp it back down.
I have to be very careful about too much sun on my lips as that is a guarantee of a cold sore. So lip sunscreen, then lysine and abreva if one starts. The longest part is not the active infection but getting your lip to heal afterwards. Abreva helps keep the sore to a minimum.
Valtrex. It's great, especially if you can get a prescription to take daily. I get cold sores randomly that make it almost impossible to eat because they hurt so bad (ran out of my prescription months ago and haven't been to a doc since. Whoops!). Abreva is good for after they've already come to the surface, Herpecin (I think?) isn't too bad for helping with the soreness but that's about it.
I have never known another person who gets them like I do. It's not just a sore on the lips. I get sores up inside my nose, on the outside of my nose, on the skin between my nose and lips and occasionally on my ears. I also get at least 24 to 48 hours of extreme nerve pain - one-sided - whichever side the sores are on. And my lips and face will swell. And sometimes even get pain down in the lymph nodes in my neck. I have gotten them all my life but they have gotten progressively worse.
Triggers: STRESS, too much sun, STRESS, getting overheated, dental work, being sick with something else, having a fever, did I mention STRESS?
I don't go anywhere without Valtrex. As soon as I get a tingle, I take 2 grams, followed by 1 gram every 12 hours for as long as it takes. Plus massive doses of advil for the pain and inflammation that are always there. In the best of cases, this routine will minimize the area of the sores.
The only topicals that are even slightly effective for me are Rx Denavir or Zovirax. But with my crappy insurance, a small tube of either one is way expensive. One of them is $200 and the other is close to $500. I would rather spend my Rx dollars on Valtrex and just cope with Abreva as a topical. I get the most topical pain relief from mentholatum.
I know a lot of other people who get them, but honestly, I have NEVER known anybody who gets them like I do. NEVER. Anybody else out there get them this badly?
ps to the medical folks out there - yes, I know that antivirals are VERY hard on the liver and I know that my valtrex consumption is beyond crazy, but even with the loading I do, I still get the sores and neuralgia, just not as bad as if I don't medicate.
I have pretty good luck with generic acyclovir, as long as I start it at the very first inkling that a sore might be starting, by the the skin has started to swell, it's too late. I've found that herpes sores tend to pop up at certain times. Especially when I'm exposed to another virus...I'm guessing my immune system is busy fighting something else and looses track of supressing the herpes virus. I start the acyclovir as soon as I start getting a cold and even if someone else in my house is coming down with a virus. There is a reason they are commonly known as "cold sores".
Generic acyclovir is very inexpensive, I don't even use my insurance for it, because my drug copay is higher than the full cost of the drug and the pharmacy will charge me the copay and pocket the difference!
My PCP told me that some of her patients, who have very frequent outbreaks, take a suppressive dose every day. I've never found that necessary as mine don't come up very frequently, but it might be something to ask about.
FWF: Have you been checked for allergies? I finally got checked after I ended up in hospital on IV antivirals to deal with an outbreak. Turned out I was allergic to eggs and bananas. What do you eat when your mouth is sore? Soft boiled eggs and bananas! Once I stopped eating those, the wicked outbreaks stopped. I still get them but not nearly as severely. Just an idea.
Yeah, Valtrex. I get cold sores rarely, but sunburn triggers it too. I have a couple of filled prescriptions and just take a bottle with me when I travel - thus far the only time in the past 3 yrs that I had an outbreak was when I forgot the pills!
My old barn's BO gave her horses L lysine for the same reason. Heck I take magnesium because it works so well in horses, maybe I should add lysine! How much do you take and in what form?
ETA: Herpes and Herpes type viruses
They like to live in nerve ganglia. So, for example, genital herpes hangs out in the caudal ganglia, and mouth herpes in the trigeminal ganglia. HSV has two cycles; the latent (lysogenic) cycle, and the lytic cycle. You get an initial infection and the virus does alot of damage (lytic cycle). Then it kind of goes to sleep in the nerve cluster. Stress gets translated to stress chemicals and hormones in your body. Stress can be mental, physical, or as a result of direct damage (windburn, sunburn, cracked lips, etc). This causes the virus to go lytic and active again. You'll usually get outbreaks right where the initial lesions were.
Interestingly enough the herpes zoster that causes shingles acts the same way, and in fact we can tell a shingles outbreak from a chickenpox case because the shingles lesions follow nerve paths and the chickenpox lesions are generalized.
And BTW you can get genital herpes from mouth cold sores -it's the same virus, just that we tend to isolate HSV2 from genital sores and HSV1 from mouth sores. But it can got the other way.
HSV1 -oral herpes is pretty much ubiquitous. About 70 to 80% of the population has it. HSV2 -genital herpes is on the rise with certain groups being particularly herpy (older single women and sexually active adolescents). Why? Because often genital herpes outbreaks are unremarkable and people don't notice them. And of course you can't condom herpes since they are not isolated to the penis.
Ahh; TMI, but I am public health. I have no filter LOL!
He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).