Can You Go In The Sun With A Cold Sore?

I don’t know about you, but I HATE cold sores with a burning rage of a 1000 suns! Even before they pop up, the minute I get that slight itching feeling… I just know my day is ruined.

Perhaps you are not as aggravated by cold sores as I am, but I’m sure they don’t bring you much joy either. So, in addition to showing you how to get rid of them as soon as possible, today I’ll talk more about the role of the sun in treating and managing them.

So, can you go out in the sun with a cold sore? It would be best if you didn’t because sun exposure is one of the most well-known triggers of a cold sore outbreak. It also makes the outbreak worse, so what you need to do is:

  • 1
    Stay clear of the sun
  • 2
    Apply sunscreen and/or
  • 3
    Apply lip balm with SPF

Why Are Cold Sores Triggered By Sun Exposure?

Maybe they should be called “hot sores” instead of cold sores because the more time you spend in the sun, you increase your risk of getting a cold sore. in general UV rays damage the skin, lips are especially susceptible to damage because they are void of melanin.

Why Does Sun Exposure Make Cold Sores Worse?

As you have read, UV rays damage the skin, but the problem is compounded when you have chapped lips and applying too much sun lotion. When the lips are chapped, the sun is able to penetrate deeper into the skin and too much sun lotion makes the skin greasy which blocks the pores making the skin oilier which increases the chances of an outbreak.

This does not mean that the sun is an evil life force that you need to avoid, the sun provides us with some much-needed nutrients such as vitamin D, just don’t over do it.

How To Manage Cold Sores And Make Them Go Away Faster?

When I get a cold sore, I want the ground to open up and swallow me, or to remain housebound until it disappears! Unfortunately, this is not possible and the only way to get back to normal activity is to speed up the healing process. The good news is that it is possible, here are some steps to assist you:

Leave It Alone

As tempting as this may be, don’t try and pop or squeeze the cold sore, this will make it worse and, in some cases, cause it to spread to another part of your mouth.

Be Gentle With It

Again, you will probably be tempted to do something as ridiculous as trying to scrub it off (been there, done that, worn the t-shirt). Please do not do this!

Avoid Soaps And Cleansers

You can wash the rest of your face with soap as well as cleanse it, but not the cold sore. Some soaps and cleansers can dry out the skin and this will slow down the healing process.

Don’t Overuse Medication

Whatever medication you are given, do not overuse it. This will not speed up the healing process; in fact, there is a high chance it will slow it down.

Home Remedies

I am in no way suggesting that you should substitute the medication prescribed by your doctor for home remedies, but you can combine them with the medication to speed up the healing process; these include:

  • Lemon tea
  • Witch hazel oil
  • Aloe Vera gel
  • Licorice powder

How To Keep Them From Coming Back?

I am a firm believer that the world would be a much better place without cold sores! Therefore, I have conducted as much research as my fingers will allow to find out how to prevent them. I mean, at the end of the day, they are contagious, so the more people know how to keep them from coming back, the less people will have to suffer from these unsightly and embarrassing looking sores!

First things first, always make sure that you have the right medication to hand so that if you even feel as if you are getting a cold sore, you have something to attack it with. It is also handy to become familiar with what triggers cold sores for you, everyone is different; however, here are some of the most common:

  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • A high temperature (feeling feverish)
  • Psychological and emotional stress
  • Mouth injuries
  • Menstruation
  • Sunlight

Here are some steps you can take to prevent cold sores from coming back:

  • Don’t touch them: Cold sores are crusty and painful, and I don’t know about you, but I am always tempted to pick them. This is a bad move! The only time you should be touching your cold sore is when you need to apply cream, and when doing so, dab the area instead of rubbing in the cream to avoid further damage.
  • Wash your hands: Once the cream has been applied, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. You should also wash your hands if you touch the sore for any other reason.
  • Don’t share medication: In the unfortunate event that your best friend Sally has a cold sore at the same time as you, DO NOT under any circumstances share your medication. You are basically swapping bacteria and it will make the infection even worse.
  • Don’t share items: This can be anything from lipstick to cutlery to drinks, please refrain from sharing any items that come into contact with yours or someone else’s mouth.
  • Avoid physical contact: If you are in a relationship, avoid kissing and any type of oral pleasure until the cold sore is completely healed.
  • Avoid stress: Stress has a negative effect on your immune system giving the dreaded herpes virus the green light to invade your body. There are certain things you can do to avoid stress such as deep breathing, exercise such as yoga and tai chi and speaking to someone close to you. As soon as you feel as if you are getting stressed in any way, take some time out and destress.
  • Protect your lips: As you have read, sun exposure is one of the main causes of cold sores; therefore, it is essential that you use a nontoxic SPF lip balm before going out into the sun.
Igor Marcikic

I've struggled with acne and oily skin for the better part of my life. Along the way, I've picked up some valuable information, tips, and tricks, which helped me manage my "situation." This website is a way of giving back and trying to help others like me! Enjoy your stay, and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments down below. All the best, Igor.

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