5 Cold Sore Causes & Triggers
No one knows for sure what causes the cold sore virus to become active. In most people, the exact triggers are unclear most of the time. It's a good idea to keep a log of what you were doing, how you were feeling, and what happened in your life just before an outbreak occurred. You may just find a pattern that can help signal future potential flare-ups.
Here are some of the more common triggers:
1. Stress and Fatigue
Stress and fatigue weaken your immune system. Get plenty of exercise, rest, and relaxation.
2. Fever or Recent Infection
Your immune system is generally at its weakest just after fighting off another infection. If you are just getting over an infection, make sure you get plenty of fluids and rest.
3. Exposure to Sun, Wind, and Cold
Ultraviolet (UV) rays can burn and damage skin leaving it a prime target for a cold sore outbreak. Wind and cold can also chap and dry-out your lips. Use a lip balm with SPF coverage to keep lips protected and moisturized.
4. Mouth Injury
Direct injury to the mouth as well as dental procedures can trigger a cold sore.
- Tell your dentist if you have experienced cold sores before any dental work
- Wear a mouth guard to minimize potential harm to the face during contact sports.
5. Menstruation or Pregnancy
Hormonal changes during menstruation and pregnancy can trigger cold sores.