Cold sores are blisters that form in areas of skin where the herpes simplex virus (HSV) is present. They are a very common and highly contagious condition, but there is some you can do to help prevent them from spreading.

The most effective way to prevent cold sores is by following a healthy lifestyle and not getting too stressed or tired. These factors can weaken the immune system and make you more susceptible to cold sore outbreaks.

It is also important to avoid sun exposure and wear good quality sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or more, a factor that can reduce the risk of cold sores appearing. This can be especially helpful in the winter when sunlight can trigger cold sores to flare up.

You should also try to get enough sleep, which will help your body fight off viruses. A lack of sleep can also lead to stress, which can trigger cold sores.

To treat a cold sore, you can use antiviral medication prescribed by your doctor. These medications can be injected directly into the sore or put on it with a swab (like a cotton swab). They may speed up the healing process and decrease the frequency of cold sores.

They can also reduce pain and inflammation by killing the virus that causes them. You can also get prescription oral numbing medicines to help you feel less uncomfortable while you wait for the sore to heal.

Some people also find that using lemon balm or a natural topical cream can improve the appearance and feel of the sores. These products are often recommended by dermatologists.

These treatments are usually effective and safe for children. But, it is always best to ask a pediatric doctor before using them on your child.

It is also best to keep a clean, dry environment and wash all objects you use regularly, including towels and bedding. This helps to prevent the herpes simplex virus from being transferred from your hands or clothes.

Another way to minimise the spread of cold sores is by not sharing items that are contaminated with saliva, such as utensils or straws, with someone who has a cold sore. It is also a good idea to avoid kissing or touching the lips of someone with cold sores until they have healed completely.

You should also wash your hands and face with warm water and soap after touching the cold sore. You can also apply a warm compress to the sore, which can help reduce pain and swelling.

In addition to these, there are a few other ways to help reduce the likelihood of cold sores recurring. First, you should keep a healthy lifestyle with nutrient-dense foods and regular exercise. This will improve your overall health and help you to feel more confident.

Second, you should be sure to get plenty of rest and stay well hydrated, which will help your immune system fight off viruses. This is especially important in the winter, when fatigue can be a problem and it is easy to become dehydrated.