How to treat cold sores FAST| Dr Dray

well hey guys in today's video i'm going

to be giving you some tips for


cold sores what are cold sores they are

really uncomfortable skin lesions that


when we're stressed out they are caused


herpes virus infection when we're young

often times or any time in life we can

be exposed to herpes simplex virus

and throughout our lifetime when our

immune system is challenged

like in the case of stress illness

that virus will wake up and cause this

type of skin lesion called a cold sore

most often can happen on the lips

on the like around the chin or on the


a herpes cold sore outbreak is usually

preceded by symptoms of

tingling maybe pain itch

a little bit of discomfort and then

often the lesion will arise

as little blisters that are grouped


they then open up and you kind of get a

crusty skin lesion

and then it goes away completely things

that trigger a breakout include

fever stress illness

having another viral infection and sun


that's something i don't think people

realize but exposure to uv

suppresses the immune system and can

cause that little virus to wake up

readily a cold sore can also be

triggered by any type of skin injury

including certain cosmetic procedures


laser resurfacing or cosmetic peel

the number of times that you experience

an outbreak can vary substantially from

person to person

some people rarely ever have them maybe

once or twice a year

but some people find that they are

having them on a

consistent basis like maybe once a month

or something like that especially if you

are under a lot of stress

in this case um one thing that can help

a lot

is to take an antiviral medicine called

valley cyclovir or

valtrex this can suppress

the reactivation of that virus and


the frequency of cold store outbreaks

and also can

shorten the duration of time for which

you are dealing with the outbreaks it

makes them last

uh less fewer days cold stores are in

fact contagious

including the days before you have an

outbreak so when you start feeling those


and then during the duration until the

lesion is crusted over and healed


you are shedding viral particles that

can infect somebody else

so that's another good thing about

seeking out treatment

to reduce the frequency of those


is that if you work say for example with

young children

or immunocompromised people who

you know might have challenges with with

dealing with herpes

simplex infections then it can really be

a good thing or

or just having the outbreaks is a

nuisance to you the medicine can't help

no side effects of the medication it's

very very very safe

super safe there's a topical medication

called ducatinol or

abriva that you can actually buy over

the counter

and it can reduce the number of days

an outbreak lasts but

it's kind of a pain you have to put it

on five times a day

and in the studies on average it results

in a shorter duration of about four days

so if that's worth it to you then

using abriva may be maybe a good choice

making sure you have a balanced diet is

also really important because

nutrient deficiencies make you run down

they compromise your immune system and

make you prone to

more outbreaks i get a lot of questions

from you guys

do i recommend lysine supplements

for reducing the frequency of cold sore


you'll hear about this a lot of people

take them to reduce

the frequency i actually don't recommend

that to my patients

but if my patients are motivated to take


i don't necessarily discourage them

there has been a lot of interest

in l-lysine supplementation for


herpes cold sore outbreaks in

lab studies that include cells in a dish

adding l-lysine has been shown to

has been shown to interfere with virus

replication and in theory might help to


herpes outbreaks what is lysine it's an

essential amino acid

that we get from our diet it's present

in meat eggs and soybeans and there are

several studies looking at l-lysine


but the results are mixed

some studies suggest that it has no

effect on the rate of

recurrence of herpes outbreaks

but it seems as though in some people

it does make a difference and some

studies really

lean more towards that suggesting that

there has to be

something unique to an individual for

them to

respond to the lysine supplementation in

terms of preventing outbreaks down the


and so if you pursue a balanced diet

make sure that you're getting

adequate l-lysine in theory that should

support that

so provided that you don't have any

problems absorbing that

and and incorporating it you know you

don't have any background medical issues

that make

you know what not so whether or not

people who have herpes simplex need to


taking l-lysine supplements it's hard to

recommend that given

the data doesn't strongly support it but

it doesn't seem to be harmful

so if somebody's motivated to take them


you know i don't necessarily discourage

it but when i'm seeing patients i don't

like go to telling them oh yeah taking a

lysine supplement

given that the data is just not that

strong for it

but what you guys have to understand

about cold sores is

you cannot cure yourself of them

that virus genetic material

is part of you forever and there's no

removing it or erasing it

treatments are aimed at reducing the

reactivation or basically the waking up

of that virus from your cells and

those treatments include as i mentioned

suppressive medica

antiviral medications that suppress the

virus in cases where you're getting a

lot of reactivation

a lot of outbreaks um perhaps

topicals may help in reducing the

duration of an outbreak and having an

adequate diet but importantly avoiding

known triggers stress

really hard to avoid but managing your

stress can can really make a difference

making sure that you get adequate sleep

and also um protecting your skin from

the sun

a lot of people don't realize how

important that is in terms of reducing

the frequency of

outbreaks of herpes i recommend wearing

a broad spectrum spf 30 or higher


every single day regardless of who you

are and make sure you reapply it

throughout the day even if you're

indoors mostly it's still important to

reapply it because it does wear off and

for the skin of the lips i recommend

using a dedicated

spf lip balm uh to protect the skin of

your lips my favorite is the vani cream


spf i'll list it down below for you guys

so that can

really help and again if you're going to

have any kind of cosmetic procedure

anything to your face that could

potentially injure

your skin and trigger that reactivation

definitely bring it to the attention of

your health

care provider they may elect to go ahead

and give you

some of the antiviral medicine in

advance to

reduce the risk of that when i told you

guys i've told you guys in my other

videos that lifestyle factors go a long


but keeping yourself healthy really

really goes a long way in terms of

controlling the

outbreak frequency making sure you're

managing your stress

getting good sleep and eating a balanced


and making sure that your diet has


adequate l-lysine in it and again you

can get that from

eggs meat and soybeans when you have a


outbreak though it is contagious right


the lesion appears when you're you know


you're shedding viral particles the

virus has woken up it's replicating and

you're shedding viral particles that can

infect somebody else during that time


so things that you want to do are to

make sure that you avoid any skin on

skin contact with anybody else

kissing hugging anything like that until

the lesion has gone away

to reduce infecting someone else

definitely want to be especially careful

around young babies anybody who's


um for sure don't share utensils

no sharing of the lip balms or things

like that

and while you're in the throes of an


make sure you wash your hands regularly

anytime you touch your face go ahead and

wash your hands

because it can be carried from your

hands transiently and

pass to somebody else so make sure that

you wash your hands consistently

you don't want to use any irritating

products on the

cold sore it's okay to apply plain


or petrolatum or an ointment or plain


but i wouldn't apply any acids

um or any active ingredients

but it will heal up on its own and go


so that's what i can tell you guys about

preventing cold sore outbreaks

there's no cure for them period i don't

care what the internet claims

you cannot cure herpes

it is forever people here herpes and

they freak out

as a dermatologist it's one of the

hardest diagnoses to

to give to people because they get a

look of

fear automatically but it's really

really common

and it's something that we get

most often when we're young it's pretty

ubiquitous in our environment chances

are you have it

um and you may not even know about it

that's the other thing

so many people have herpes and have no

clue they just happen to

never experience outbreaks um

and so chances are you you have it

uh or you've had it your whole life and


you're experiencing an outbreak that you

realize for the first time but there

it's actually pretty common

a lot of people mistake herpes outbreaks

for other things like

pimples um i've even seen this on tick


actually people who have

textbook textbook uh cold sore

thinking that it is due to a product

maybe the product was irritating and

triggered an outbreak but

it's a pretty classic textbook cold sore

so yeah a lot of people will mistake

cold sores for other skin lesions

like acne or or something like that

um but no um and so

like i said a lot of people don't even

realize that they have

have it and people get super freaked out

when they find out they have it

it's pretty easy to diagnose by looking

at it

in most cases and we can take a little

swab of the skin lesion

and send it for a test to look for the

virus and to establish the diagnosis

um so it's something that is very very

common so if you have it don't be

freaked out

or ashamed uh

for there's a lot of stigma around

herpes one

there really shouldn't be um most people

have it

or have some herpes virus uh most people

do it's very ubiquitous

um so if you've had to deal with a cold

sore don't be embarrassed about it

shouldn't be the kind of i see a lot you

know i'm really happy

as a side note i'm i'm really happy that

there's like a move

to embrace

different skin conditions like acne

vitiligo eczema like people are openly

sharing those things

and like not covering them up with

makeup it's more being celebrated as our

individual differences

i wonder if we'll see that for herpes

cold sores it carries

so much stigma and i see people getting

shamed about it all the time

on social media so shut that down

don't shame people for something that

one day you

might find yourself not feeling so great

and then boom

all of a sudden you see that you've had

it your whole life too

so yeah i don't shame people for having

something that common

um i do see a lot of a lot of

hahaha about it and yeah don't

anyways guys i hope these tips were

helpful to you all and

this video was useful if so give it a

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share it with your friends and as always

don't forget sunscreen and subscribe

i'll talk to you guys tomorrow bye