According to a report, about 48%, nearly half of Americans between 14-49 years, have cold sores or herpes simplex 1(HSV-1) virus. Cold sores are open, painful blisters that develop on the lips or mouth.
Once you get infected, it's likely to recur, causing further infections in the future. This is because the HSV-1 virus can stay dormant in your body for a long time.
Thankfully, you can access the best cold sore treatment if you notice symptoms early enough. Early detection ensures timely control and cure. These treatments (like the cold sore treatment online) offer fast relief and are readily available for anyone to benefit from. .
While the herpes virus is the cause, there are several triggers to cold sores. However, the popular question people ask is, is it possible for stress to cause cold sores?
Let's find out!
How Does Stress Affect The Body?
Believe it or not, stress damages your body more than you think!
The body forms a fight-or-flight response when stress kicks in. This response triggers a diversion of attention from long-term to short-term survival.
Before, this response helped people to fight or find safety from attackers or predators. But nowadays, the response triggers itself even when there's no danger. Ultimately, the body abandons long-term survival mechanisms such as the immune, digestive and reproductive systems. If the trigger is a one-time thing, the damage is not much. But if your life is often busy and stressful, the impact of stress on the systems is severe.
Additionally, stress releases the adrenaline and cortisol hormones. These hormones eliminate several vitamins and minerals from your body, which harshly affects your general nutrition.
Stress also affects sleep. The Adrenaline and cortisol hormones keep the body awake, as the worries hinder the mind from relaxing and falling asleep. This is also why stress makes you tired.
The body recovers and repairs from the daily damage when you sleep. So if you are not sleeping enough, there'll be adverse effects on the skin and even the liver.
How Does Stress Trigger Cold Sores?
Because stress weakens the immune and digestive systems and causes nutrient deficiencies, leaving the body vulnerable to various attacks. Therefore, the cold sore virus readily attacks the body through the weak immune system's open door.
When the body lacks immune cells or is inactive, it becomes hard for the body to control the virus. Moreover, stress gets rid of the zinc mineral. Zinc generally improves the immune system, but more specifically, it helps heal wounds. So without zinc, the cold sores take longer or fail to heal.
The effect of stress on the digestive system also affects the immune system. Did you know that the gut contains about 70% of your immune cells? Therefore, poor digestive health absorbs nutrients poorly and damages your immune cells.
How to Manage Stress to Prevent Cold Sores
If your cold stress symptoms are recurring, it's most probably because you have stress, fatigue, or are overly busy. Nonetheless, you need to look after yourself! The following tips will benefit you.
Tackle Root Cause for Cold Stress Prevention
What's causing you stress? Is it an overwhelming work environment, financial problems, children, exams or relationships?
Identifying the root cause of your stress would help to reduce it. You can ask for help with kids, change jobs or seek counseling for the relationship. Also, you can have planners or to-do lists to help you stay organized and get things done on time.
Sadly, some generally stressful people don't know how to relax and cope with slight stressors. So, it becomes hard to find a specific source of stress. Counseling in such cases would help a lot.
Care for Yourself
Caring for your body during stressful times is the best way to deal with stress. You can start by eating well, exercising, and resting enough.
- Diet: A balanced diet does magic to the body- fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, carbs, and fiber. Preferably, make a habit of eating a probiotic and prebiotic combination to boost gut health. This breaks down and absorbs vital nutrients from the food. But be careful because there are foods that can trigger cold sore outbreaks.
- Exercise: Working out helps eliminate excess cortisol and adrenaline and releases happy hormones. Exercises also improve blood circulation and heart function, especially by circulating immune cells everywhere.
- Relaxation: If you’re a busybody, it can be hard to find time off for relaxation. But, setting aside some hours for quiet relaxation helps to reduce stress. You should know that watching TV doesn't relax but instead triggers low-key stress because of the stimulation of events.
Instead, it would be best to take a long warm bath, meditate, paint or sleep. Talking to loved ones also calms stress a lot.
- Immune boosters: You can take natural or manufactured immune boosters for cold stress prevention. Eating brightly colored fruits and vegetables provides the body with vital vitamins and minerals for your immune system.
How to Relieve Cold Sores
Undeniably, cold sores are uncomfortable, but you can find cold sore treatment online, at home, or locally. Here are tips for managing cold sores:
- Use cold sore treatment over the counter: Usually, they are creams or ointments that help quicken the healing time and relieve the symptoms. Preferably, apply the cold sore treatment on the lip or anywhere immediately it starts to show for best results.
- Take painkillers: Sometimes, cold sores cause excruciating pain depending on where they develop. Your doctor can recommend a pain reliever, or you can buy over-the-counter topical pain relievers. Apart from the application, you can also take oral painkillers by mouth.
- Apply sunscreen and lip balm: Sunburn triggers a cold sore, making the healing much slower. That's why wearing sunscreen is essential for infected people. Also, an SPF lip balm daily will help prevent future cold sores.
- Avoid foods that trigger cold sores, even if they are healthy foods. It would be best to seek nutritional guidance.
- Use a cool compress: Applying a cool, damp cloth soothes a cold sore almost instantly. Cold press the affected areas for a few minutes, on and off during the day. Remember to wash the cloth after use to avoid spreading it to others.
Generally, stress can cause cold sores. However, how you react before and after stress determines the impact level.
Cold sore treatment and cold stress prevention go a long way to ensure your body doesn't lose control of the HSV-1 virus.
The primary goal is to avoid recurrence and encourage quick healing of the sores. Even though you live with the herpes virus, the most important thing is to care for yourself best to keep off stress triggers!