Beauty Tips for Cold Sores

by Tiffany Silverberg

A cold sore is a type of herpes that inflames on the corners of the mouth or lips. The outbreak consists of a blister that might ooze, bleed and crust over. When a cold sore occurs, you may be eager to disguise or cover the blister until it heals. Since no cure exists for cold sores, a regular routine will be useful to relieve any embarrassment.

1. Avoid Outbreaks

Physical and emotional stress can cause cold sores to appear on your mouth. Avoid too much stress to avoid too many outbreaks. Use aromatherapy to relax with a bath or candles to get plenty of sleep each night. Use an SPF 15 or higher lip balm every day, even under your lipstick, to avoid ultraviolet (UV) exposure to your lips. Avoid laser treatments for hair removal and other physically stressful treatments on your lips that can trigger an outbreak. Keep a journal of outbreaks. Each time you have an outbreak write down a list of potential triggers, which may include foods, activities or stressors. If you start to see a pattern, eliminate those elements from your life.

2. Hurry Outbreaks

When an outbreak occurs, try to expedite its life cycle and eliminate pain during the process. Ice, wrapped in a paper towel, can give the sore the cooling and numbing effect you need to avoid any pain. Over-the-counter (OTC) medication can also help relieve the pain. Dry it out by dabbing the sore with rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball. Throw out the ball after using it. A moisturizer with zinc oxide can keep the sore moist and crustless.

3. Cover Outbreaks

Once the sore develops a crust, it can be difficult to cover with makeup. Keep it soft with moisturizer. Never apply the moisturizer directly as using it later can reinfect your mouth. Use a cotton ball or other applicator to apply your moisturizer. Once the applicator has touched your mouth, it shouldn't touch anything else but the trash can. If the cold sore in on your lips, use a rich color lip liner and lipstick to disguise the sore. Dip a cotton swab into the color and apply it to your whole mouth. Don't put the stick on your mouth during this time. Use concealer on a cotton swab to cover a soft sore on your upper or lower lip or cheek.

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