They’re called cold sores for a reason. When your immune system is compromised, you’re more susceptible to a cold sore outbreak. So when you feel a cold, fever or flu coming on, take the right precautions.
Here are some steps to help avoid an outbreak during cold season.
Get vaccinated. It’s the best way to avoid the flu. While it won’t protect against the milder common cold, it will provide your immune system with extra defence against this seasonal illness.
Be germ conscious. Try not to touch your mouth, eyes or nose with your hands, when you have a cold sore and if you do need to touch your face, definitely wash your hands before and after. While you’re at it, be conscious about keeping things away from your mouth (like pens, your mobile, your eyeglasses) and make sure other items like utensils and drinking glasses are clean before you use them and washed promptly afterwards. This advice is helpful for both avoiding cold and flu viruses and avoid spreading the HSV-1 virus, and for good general hygiene.
Stop smoking. Smoking reduces your nose and lungs’ ability to filter contaminants out of the body, making you more susceptible to getting sick. To stay healthy, talk to your GP or pharmacist about quitting.
Give your body time to repair. Lack of sleep and high levels of stress can lower your body’s defence against colds and the flu. To support your immune function, be sure to get enough sleep and manage your stress.