Prevent a Cold Sore Outbreak and Avoid Spreading the Virus

The virus that causes cold sores and fever blisters is HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus). The virus is highly contagious and easily transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. If you have had an active cold sore infection, keep these 3 tips in mind to help prevent another flare up, and avoid spreading the virus.

Know Your Cold Sore Triggers

At the first tingle, you should be "on alert" for a cold sore. That means you need to take extra precautions until you are certain that an infection is recurring or that it is not. Do your best to avoid your triggers. This not only limits the number of times you have to experience cold sores, but also the times you can spread the infection to others.

Keep Your Distance (During a Cold Sore Flare-up)

Since any skin-to-skin contact with an active, cold sore blister can trigger an infection in another person, you should avoid close contact if you have a cold sore, or notice one on someone else. Remember that most people contract HSV as a child. Do not share any food, drink, straw, cup, lip balm, or anything that goes on or near your mouth--and no kissing.

Keep Your Hands to Yourself

There's a good chance someone with a cold sore could inadvertently touch the affected area, and then touch another item. So, you need to be conscious about keeping your hands away from your mouth during an active outbreak. You should also wash your hands often and immediately after touching your mouth.
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