Your Bod

Cold sore sitch

I have a cold sore on my lip that keeps coming back. What can I do about it? 
Ouch. That nasty, festering splotch returns because it’s caused by a virus called herpes simplex type 1. Like most viruses, it never goes away—once you have it, it can attack throughout your lifetime. Sounds scary, but it’s not—one in four people gets cold sores, also called fever blisters. Herpes simplex type 2 causes a sexually transmitted disease that shows up “down there.” That’s not what you have. Type 1 is highly contagious, and girls can get it from sharing drinks or towels. Since a sore can stick around for 10 whole days, Dr. Jim Mitterando, South Shore Hospital, Weymouth, Mass., told us some ways to make it more tolerable: 1) Take Tylenol or Advil for pain, 2) put ice on the sore, 3) don’t pick it under any circumstances, or 4) see your doctor for Zovirax, which can shorten the outbreak. There’s no way to avoid cold sores since stress, your period and sunlight trigger them. But, as you get older, they’ll assail you less often.

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by GL | 2/1/2016
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