Stress and Cold Sores
While times of stress are difficult enough to weather on their own, an annoying cold sore can make those stressful times much worse. Fortunately, there are lifestyle habits and fast-acting cold sore medicine that will help you get rid of those bothersome and painful cold sores.
Can Stress Cause Cold Sores?
Yes! Many of those affected by cold sores notice that they are triggered when they are feeling stressed. Triggers of cold sore outbreaks vary from person to person, but stress is one of the most common triggers of cold sores.
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus and are very common. Roughly 90% of the population has contracted this widespread virus that causes cold sores. Stress helps this dormant virus find an opportunity to replicate itself in the form of cold sores. The virus is often noticed by a tingle in the lips, soreness in the mouth, small blisters in the mouth, itching, dryness, and irritation found across the surface of a lip or inside the mouth.
Minimizing Stress-Induced Cold Sores
First, getting enough sleep is vital to keeping stress and the accompanying cold sores at bay. When you don't get enough rest, your immune system can weaken, making you more susceptible to stress and illness. It’s always important to get at least eight hours of sleep every night, especially during times of stress.
If the mere thought of a pending cold sore outbreak causes you to panic or experience heightened anxiety, deep breathing techniques can be a lifesaver. When you're feeling stressed, take a few deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Doing so will deliver more oxygen to cells throughout your body and help relax the mind and reduce stress levels.
Deep breathing techniques are proven to be highly effective at decreasing cortisol levels, a hormone released in response to stress and can aggravate cold sore symptoms. While it may take some time and practice, once you get the hand of deep breathing, it can be practiced anywhere and at any time to help calm you down and prevent a cold sore outbreak.
In addition to deep breathing, meditation is another relaxation technique you can use to manage stress. Research has shown that meditation can not only reduce stress but also help to boost the immune system. In one study, participants who meditated regularly had a 50% increase in antibodies compared to those who did not meditate. If you're not sure how to meditate, there are plenty of online tutorials and classes that can help get you started.
Another way to reduce stress during difficult times is to practice self-compassion. When you're kind and understanding towards yourself, even when things are tough, it can help ease the stress and anxiety you're feeling. One way to practice self-compassion is by speaking to yourself in the kind and caring way you would talk to a friend. If you make a mistake, for example, try to offer yourself some understanding and forgiveness instead of berating yourself.
Exercise is another excellent way to reduce stress levels. Exercise releases endorphins - beneficial mood-boosting effects that can help to minimize the impact of stress on your body. A moderate amount of exercise is the key – working out too hard can have the opposite effect, leaving you feeling more stressed.
In addition, make sure to eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of fluids. Eating a nutritious diet will provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy and drinking water will keep you optimally hydrated. These are both critical factors in keeping stress under control.
Cold Sore Treatment That Cuts Healing Time in Half
When a healthy lifestyle and focus on minimizing stress is not enough to keep cold sore outbreaks from occurring, know there are health products to help treat your blisters. If you need swift and soothing relief, look no further than our oral care products at Quantum Health. From our Lip Clear Lysine+ cold sore treatment to our line of SuperLysine+ products, we have what you need to get relief from the pain and inflammation of cold sores.
While a cold sore outbreak is never fun, there are ways to lessen the impact. When minimizing stress is not enough, Quantum Health oral care products can treat the sores and have you feeling better, and get you back to normal in no time.