Stress And Cold Sores, The Connection

by Tracy

Did you know that cold sores and stress have a connection? To any cold sore sufferers I’m sure this is not news and they have experienced the connection for themselves. In fact one of the major causes of a flare up of a cold sore is during times of excessive stress, so managing your stress levels is especially important for sufferers of this rather persistent problem.


Cold sores are caused by a particular virus, the herpes simplex virus 1 or HSV1 for short. Although it related to and has a similar name it has not other connection to genital herpes and so there should be no stigma attached to people who unfortunately have picked up the virus.

Cold sores are blisters which normally appear around the mouth area, they can be rather uncomfortable and can last up to around 10 days, during which time they are extremely infectious and so care must be given to washing of hands and touching the face etc.

The virus is picked up by contact only, so sharing cups or kissing someone who has the virus is the main way of infection. Now you may think, well that’s Ok I won’t kiss anyone with a cold sore and admittedly this is when they are most infectious, but you can also catch it when the person does not have a visible sore. This is because the virus lays dormant in the nerves of the face until the next time the virus is activated and the cold sores appear.

A flare up of the virus can be caused by many things, such as tiredness or being run down, both of which can be caused by stress. Unfortunately stress is often unavoidable but it can be managed so that its affects are limited.

Stress Management needs to be a priority for cold sore sufferers and things like eating well and getting plenty of sleep is essential to prevent fatigue and becoming run down. A strong body is better able to cope with every day stresses and so prevent the virus from being activated again.

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