Mumsnet hasn't checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have medical concerns, please seek medical attention; if you think your problem could be acute, do so immediately. Even qualified doctors can't diagnose over the internet, so do bear that in mind when seeking or giving advice.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Cold sores - aaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrr
I contracted the herpes cold sore virus as a young child.
Cold sores on my lips, philtrum and nostrils have been the bane of my life.
Mine are triggered by other viruses (eg when I have a cold), hormones (often when I have my period), extreme stress or tiredness (say no more) and sunlight.
I have used many different conventional and complementary medicines. I think I am quite an expert at managing them. I just wish I could be cured of them They really do drag me down. Not only do they hurt, they also look disgusting and for me they are a permanent reminder of my past.
How do others deal with them? Either physically or emotionally?
I recently tried weird little plasters for them, I forget who makes them, but they're from the pharmacist. They work pretty well, they're not as obvious as you'd expect, and I found they'd clear up a cold sore within 24 hours. (The packaging says they take longer.)
Because there's a plaster over the sore, it keeps you from ever licking it, which I'm sure helps. And is less gross.
Thankfully I only get them in the corner of my mouth, and rarely, a few times a year. For the plasters, or the tiny tubes of v expensive goop, if you use them when you first get the tingle (instead of vainly hoping that it's not a cold sore, you're imagining it ), then they never really even come.
I have seen them but never tried them (mine can appear on the entire area of my lips and go into my mouth, so the plasters woudlnt stick. I could consider them for my nose though, altho how they woudl stick when I have a cold (whcih I do now!) I don know
I use Zovirax as my main cream, but I never manag to prevent one coming, even if I catch the fist tingle
I feel your pain. I could have written your post.
I have a corker on my bottom lip at this very moment. It's gross. I feel like a leper when I have one and it's only at the blister stage. I find by the 3rd or 4th day it's truly rank. I'd hate to have to look at me when I have them.
Luckily I've been so careful when I have them and DH doesn't have the virus. I'll be trying my darnedest to make sure DS doesn't either.
Sorry I have no cures etc but just wanted to let you know you're not alone.
I am also sending sympathy, I too have a sore on bottom lip on day 7 with it so dry and cracking stage..............
I have tried the plaster things, under nose where i get mine, did nothing but become unstuck and made the area worse (bigger), on lip if it is completely on lip it heals fine without any medical intervention, if appears on lip and skin think the plaster helped but people still spoke to it ha ha............
I hate them.............total bummer!
Rip - I know what you mean about being careful. Have to be scrupulous. I';d never forgive myself if either of my DC caught it. Thankfully I have never passed the virus onto my dh or other partners in the past either.
Sammy - thanks for the sympathy too.
I'd be first in line to try out any new treatment to rid me of these things - and I guess you;d be not far behind me
Zovirax stopped working for me and made DH's excema falre, so we started using Fenistil - it's a very good alternative to Zovirax.
that's interesting, I'm not finding Zovirax as effective anymore. Will try out the other one.
They are horrid aren't they, ds2 jumped up when I was bending down to help him take his top off a few weeks ago and headbutted my chin resulting in me biting my top lip. Next morning the whole of my top lip where I had bitten it was a mass of cold sores.
Have another one atm.
not heard of Fenistil.... Will have to try that
Lysine I have tried
nothing actually gets rid of them though, does it? all of those things merely help the procedss along a bit....
I started getting them about 10 years ago (thanks to DH for giving me the virus). They used to be the bane of my life, the real feeling crap, feeling ugly, it hurts and getting them back to back made me so miserable, so really miserable.
Then I discovered Lysine, you buy it from the health food shop, its about a fiver a bottle. As soon as you get a tingle, take 3000mg, take another 3000mg at bed time, take 5000mg for 4 days and they are gone. They don't come up, the pain goes quickly and they have a bit of a lump, but no scab, no open wound at all.
I cannot recommend it highly enough.
There have been all sorts of studies into it and you can take Lysine every day to never get them again, but I keep forgetting.
2 weeks ago I got a monster feeling in my lip and could see 3 small spots on my lower lip. I took Lysine and it was all gone 4 days later, my DH could not believe it.
I know I sound like I am on QVC selling Lysine, but it really works.
My DD started getting them when she was 18mo Could have caught them from DH or my mum, two people with whom I've been in close contact with for years and never developed a cold sore myself. It's gutting, especially when she went away with school and got five on her bottom lip over the weekend.
I think there must be some cure developable - what makes me not develop cold sores, nor my dad, sis or brother? Or the partners mentioned on here? I'd just like them to find that in me and give it to her. And DH. And my mum and everyone else of course.
Of course some miserable buggers in the past have told me the virus is just sitting dormant in my system and one day it will emerge....
I really feel for you. DD gets them about two weeks into the start of term, every time she gets a cold and whenever she's a bit immune low. Sometimes hitting the tingle with a cut clove of garlic has worked; this week she's using Zovirax. And manuka honey.
I second L-Lysine too actually. DD gets coldsore when she's run down, after she's been ill etc, so as soon as she gets a cold, she starts dosing up on L-Lysine and they don't come up.
Some people are just immune.
If you get a cold sore that does not go away (I'm talking weeks here ), antibiotic cream (I think?) can sort it - I had a terrible one once, and my dentist prescribed a cream, and it sorted it out.
Def recommend the L-Lysine. You do need to take it for a while though. Anything that keeps your immune system boosted should help too. I found mine lessened considerably when I was taking Pregnacare while ttc.
I never found Zovirax much good to be honest.
I read a recommendation for propolis cream and I found that good. Will try and find a link. I buy it in a large pharmacist in Dublin that has a good vit section.
I have used those compeed patches which are great for coldsores around the lips/mouth area, stop them spreading and heal them faster with much less pain.
I do get sores under my nose/philtrum and was told that these are a different virus, certainly compeed/zovirax have never worked there.
Will definitely be investigating this L-lysine.
Another one who sympathises with you. I also get them around my mouth, lips, nose and even up my nose, on my chin and on my earlobe. They are the bane of my life and can break out at the slightest thing. I'm also really careful not to give them to dp or ds. Hard when ds is constantly sticking his hands all over my face, in my mouth etc.
I haven't really found much that helps although a work mate told me she was able to get an anti-viral drug off the doctor after she was constantly getting them after her hysterectomy.
I must have a go at that L-lysine myself.
I get them up my nose too, Trixie. They really drag you down, don't they?
Have been googling for L Lysine!
YOu can get Lysine in most health food shops, it is only a fiver a bottle. I swear by it.
i think i might have caught one from dd but now have conjunctivitis, that is related isnt it?
off to docs soon.
i find those sticky things, compeed work best for me. i have had some huge cold sores in the past, but compeed seems to stop mine form getting so big and gets rid in a couple of days.
I'm off to get some of this L-lysine now!
I've had three weeks of cold sores up my nose followed by convunctivitis (thank heavens for "drops for infected eyes" available over the counter now)and now I have a great dobber of one on my lower lip!!!
Zovirax does nothing for me..I use Compede plasters as a barrier to try and prevent my Ds from catching the virus...as Trixie says, difficult when they are perpetually shoving their hands in your mouth..I just hope he is immune like Dh.
You guys should get your gp to prescribe you with a course of zovirax tablets or a single dose of famvir. They are very expensive which is why they won't prescribe them readily (although mine does) - they stop the virus stone dead and i only take a few doses and then keep back-ups for the next time i feel the tingle and can't get to the gp in time. Have tried everything else described, but this the is only foolproof way to prevent them.
Another vote for L-Lysine taken as a preventative measure, alongside 1000mg of vit C a day - but take advice on how long each lysine course should last, because you can build up immunity if taken constantly.
Liquorice lip balm is supposed to be good to use (not during outbreaks but again as a preventative measure).
The Compeed patches I have to say are really good, unless you get a sore quite far under your lip, then the bit of patch that gets wet can flap a bit and be annoying!
I really have found a reduction in them by getting more sleep where poss, and not burning the candle at both ends. Also cutting down of alcohol helps. Also being really careful around the time I have a cold. If I get even the faintest tingle during a cod I rub a bit of zovirax on both lips once or twice.
But it's amazing how they can just pop up out of nowhere