Cold Sores (Herpes labialis) Prevention

You may not always be able to prevent an outbreak of cold sores. The blisters and ulcers you get when you have an outbreak of cold sores are highly contagious, until they heal completely.hand washing

  • Avoid kissing and skin contact with people while blisters are present. The virus can spread easily as long as there are moist secretions from your blisters. In persons with depressed immune systems, the virus can be spread even after the skin appears to be healed.
  • Avoid sharing items. Utensils, towels and other items can spread the virus when blisters are present.
  • Keep your hands clean. Wash your hands carefully before touching another person when you have a cold sore.
  • Be careful about touching other parts of your body. Your eyes and genital area may be particularly susceptible to spread of the virus.
  • Avoid triggers. If possible try to avoid or prevent conditions that stress your body, such as getting a cold or the flu, not getting enough sleep or staying in the sun for long periods of time without applying sunblock.
  • Use sunblock. Apply sunblock to your lips and face before prolonged exposure to the sun — during both the winter and the summer — to help prevent cold sores.



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