If you suffer from cold sores, you’re no stranger to those unsightly red blisters that appear on your face, seemingly at the worst time.  In the clinic, cold sores are known as Herpes Labiales. They most typically are brought on by some sort of stress, lack of rest, eating the wrong foods, a weakened immune system, or trauma around to your skin especially around your lips.

At Skin Therapease if you have a cold sore, we usually avoid contact or work around the affected area. If lesions are in more than one area, we recommend that you reschedule your appointment until the lesions have healed since these sores can spread. Prior to any chemical peel, microdermabrasion, or laser/light treatment, we will always ask if you regularly suffer from cold sores because even if you don’t currently have one, any of the above treatments can irritate your lips and initiate a breakout.

This is also true for permanent make up in the lip area, in which case we highly recommend Valtrix or Zorvorex prior to the procedure to prevent any complications or a possible break out. It’s your choice whether or not to take an anti-viral medication, however if you have a history of cold sores it is highly likely they will resurface after a permanent make up procedure. If you’re unable to take either of these medications, we recommend Lysine which is an amino acid that helps to neutralize the sore.  As soon as you feel the tingling that signals a breakout or if you have a cold sore, reach for the Lysine or call your physician for a prescription of the medications mentioned above. Other potential natural remedies include:  tea tree oil which acts as a local antiseptic killing bacteria, propolis which boosts your immune system and lemon balm which is good for anxiety.

To avoid breakouts, there are several holistic things you can do.  Eat healthy, colorful foods rich in beta-carotene or vitamin A, work out regularly, get plenty of rest, and replenish your system with supplements and medical foods to get your daily recommended doses of fruits and vegetables. To boost or maintain a strong immune system consider taking additional omega’s (fish oil), vitamin D, multi-vitamins, and probiotics.