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Fight the cold (sore) war!

Dreading an invasion? Arm yourself with these fast facts and you’ll be ready to attack from the early tingle…

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    Main culprits

    We know that it’s tricky to avoid some of these triggers, but they’re often the cause of an outbreak.

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2

…is the number of strains of the herpes simplex virus, which causes cold sores. Generally, HSV-1 causes cold sores around the mouth, while HSV-2 leads to genital herpes.

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    First defence

    Anti-viral creams are effective at easing symptoms, but only if used at the initial signs of a cold sore. If you feel a burning tingle, that’s the virus spreading and replicating – so act fast!

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70%

…of people will catch at least one type of herpes virus in their lives, but only one in five will have obvious symptoms. Why? It’s all in the genes.

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    Cold-Sore Comforters

    1 The anti-viral balm Apply Bonjela Cold Sore Cream Invisible, £5.99/599 points (2g), at the first signs.

    2 Go techie The clever Boots Pharmaceuticals Electronic Cold Sore Machine, £39.99/3,999 points, can be used from that tell-tale tingle and helps speed up healing time.

    3 Handbag BFF Keep Blistex Daily Lip Conditioner SPF15, £2.69/269 points (7g), close by and apply regularly to help avoid chapped lips – a common precursor to cold sores.

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Did you know?

Once you have the virus, it doesn’t go away – it just lies dormant. So when your immune system is busy with something else, such as battling a cold, you may get a flare-up.

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    Random ‘remedies’

    Some cold-sore myths spread almost as fast as the virus itself! Here are the top three weird topical ‘cures’ we’ve heard. (P.S: they don’t work!)

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Child + cold sores = tears

Boots pharmacist Meera Shah says: ‘Children with cold sores should avoid eating acidic or salty foods, as these will sting. Instead, offer cold, soft foods, such as banana sandwiches. Sipping drinks through a straw will also be less painful.’

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Feeling anxious?

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Words Charlotte Grant-West

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