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Why Do People Often Get Cold Sores When They’re Sick?

Herpes simplex virus (HSV), the virus causes cold sores and genital herpes, is still common in the US. According to the CDC statistic, about 48% of people aged between 14 and 49 have cold sores. By age 49, nearly 60% of people are infected with the virus. Moreover, the virus can be reactivated many times during your lifetime by triggers. There’re many triggers of a cold sore outbreak, including poor diet, medication, sunlight and unprotected sex. People especially get cold sores when they’re sick. Why is that? Keep reading the article to know the answers.


Which illnesses increase your risk of cold sores?

There’s a fact that every illness can put people at risk of getting cold sores. From the common cold and flu to cancers, a health problem can trigger an outbreak of herpes infection. Approximately 80% of infected people experience cold sores after a cold and flu. Or the herpes infection is preceded by flu- like symptoms. These herald the beginning of a cold sore, including

  • FeverThis fever is usually mild and may not be a fever. It’s only a raise over a person’s baseline temperature. Fever is most severe during the primary cold sores and gets milder with each recurrence.
  • Headaches and muscle pain. These symptoms are more tenacious than fever, typically lasting three days to two weeks. Like fever, they’re less severe with each outbreak. In some patients, headaches and muscle pain can go with lymph nodes on the neck and in the groin.
  • Feeling sick. People may notice sensations of lethargy, fatigue, lack of appetites and irritability before a cold sore infection. These can be called malaise.

Though some minor illnesses, such as cold and flu are less of a threat than diseases, they’re one of the most important triggers of cold sores. So, take care of yourself carefully.

Related: How Do You Get Herpes?

A cold or flu may trigger your cold sores

A cold or flu may trigger your cold sores

Why do people often get cold sores when they’re sick?

The immune system is really crucial in protecting you from herpes infection. The longer your health is weakened, the more prone you’re to the virus. Your body, when healthy, fights to keep it dormant. However, you’re not aware of this combat when you’re in good health.

During an illness, such as the cold or flu, your body is using its full immune response to kill the microbes causing the current attack. Meanwhile, hidden HSV has been alerted and begins to re- emerge. The virus then comes out of its dormant stage and appears as a cold sore outbreak. No matter you want or not, you’re often get cold sores after you’re sick.

Related: Your Baby Gets Cold Sores- What You Need to Know?

Why do you keep getting cold sores?

Herpes, once contracted, lives dormant in the ganglia of the nerve. Then, it can be reactivated at any time, but it’s often triggered by the same factors. Therefore, people experience cold sores at the same time monthly. Depending each individual, the number of cold sore outbreak can vary. Some people notice four or five recurrences a year, while others have only one outbreak and never get it again.

 If you’re unsure what triggers your cold sores, you need to pay attention what you do, what you eat or when you’re most often affected. Many women, for example, tend to suffer from cold sores during their period. Or others may suffer from cold sores because of stressful jobs.

Related: How Long Can the Herpes Virus Stay Dormant?

When you contract herpes, it  can be reactivated at anytime

When you contract herpes, it can be reactivated at anytime

What steps can you take to prevent cold sores triggered by sickness?

To prevent cold sores, you should take steps to improve your health first. Let’s take a look at the following steps to boost your health.

  • Stay hydrated. Warm lemon water with honey or water helps prevent dehydration and boost healing process. Remember to avoid coffee, alcohol and caffeinated sodas, which can worsen dehydration.
  • Take rest. When you’re sick, all thing your body need is rest. Because your body works hard to fight off the illness, it needs more energy than usual. So, give it more time to recover.
  • Get enough sleep. Staying up late to watch TV only weakens your immune system, which makes it harder to fight off germs. Keep in mind that go to bed early and take naps during the day in order to boost the healing time.
  • Consume high vitamin foods. Sickness often accompanies with loss of appetites. However, you need to consume more vitamin foods to boost the immune system fighting off the illness. Try eating foods that are high in vitamin C, B12, and E, zinc and lysine.
  • Take OTC remedy. You may find relief with some medications, such as pain reliever, lozenges, decongestant and expectorant. You should take them as directed of health care provider. Don’t give them to children under 6 year olds without pediatrician’s directions.

Related: Stop Cold Sores- the Best and Worse Foods You Should Know

Healthy foods help boost the immune system to fight off infections

Healthy foods help boost the immune system to fight off infections

If you get cold sores after an illness, it’s necessary to kill the virus by antiviral medications. Acyclovir and Valacyclovir are often prescribed medicines for herpes. In addition, ProsurX is one of the best antiviral creams for herpes. It’s the only topical cream that destroys both cold sores and genital herpes. Moreover, the cream kills HSV on the skin’s surface as well as the root. Therefore, it’s hard for the virus from coming back.

There’re numerous triggers of a cold sore outbreak, but people often get the infection when they’re sick. Because of weakened immune system during an illness, their immune function can’t fight off the HSV. To avoid this, you should pay attention to healthy lifestyle as well as good diet to boost the immune system.

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