What Are the Known Cold Sore Triggers?

Millions of us get cold sores, and some will get them several times a year. No one fully understands why this happens, but some people are just more prone to getting them than others. You may be able to prevent them from appearing so often by understanding the common cold sore triggers.

When the virus is in your system, it never goes away. It remains in a dormant state in a nerve until ‘something’ activates it. There is no medical cure for cold sores (yet) but, by learning what brings them on, you can help to keep them at bay.

The HSV-1 virus lives in a cluster of nerves by your ear, and travels in only one nerve. When it is triggered, it travels to your lip, or wherever you get the cod sore. When it heals, it travels back through the same nerve and lays dormant until it is triggered again.

how do you catch a cold sore

In this article, we will discuss many of the possible triggers. That way, you will be able to avoid getting them. We will talk about treatments that you can use to stop the sore from getting any worse. Also, we will give you advice on how to avoid getting cold sores as often.

What Are the Most Common Cold Sore Triggers?

There are a few triggers, and some may actually surprise you.  We will list them here, and give you advice on how to avoid them.


One of the most common triggers for cold sores is stress. Because it throws your body off balance, so to speak, it also has negative implications for your health.  When you are under a lot of stress, your body doesn’t have the ability to fight off cold sores as well. A way to avoid getting a cold sore due to stress is to learn relaxation techniques, and to make some work and lifestyles adjustments.

Cold Weather

Your lips are constantly exposed to cold weather, and there is really not much you can do to protect them from it. Using the best chapsticks will help to protect them, but you have to remember to put it on before you go out into the cold.


To avoid getting fever blisters from the sun, you should stay away from direct sunlight and use a chapstick with sun block. This will help keep your lips from drying out.


Fevers, hence the name fever blister, can trigger a cold sore, as do colds and infections. In this case, there isn’t much that you can do about sickness except to treat it, or simply let it run its course. Diet and lifestyle are huge factors when it comes to your overall state of health.


If teens have the virus in their system, they can get cold sores several times a year, due to the constant hormonal changes. In adult women, pregnancy and menstruation are known to be triggers.


Extreme tiredness weakens your immune system. It affects your body’s ability to fight off infection, illness, or cold sores.  Talk to your doctor about thing that you can do to fight fatigue. They may prescribe something for it, or they may advise you to change your diet.  There may be an underlying medical reasons for it, also.


If you bump your mouth or face on the side where the virus is, it can be enough to trigger it, also. Dental work is a known cause. Again, this is one of the times that you really can’t do anything to avoid it, you simply have to treat it.

Weakened Immune System

People with weakened immune systems get cold sores frequently, because their body isn’t capable of fighting them off. This includes people with diabetes, cancer, HIV aids, etc. Taking a daily Lysine supplement is likely to help build up your resistance.

Get an Effective Cold Sore Treatment

When you get fever blisters, after the first time you know what it feels like. The early warning signs, or the tingle, as it is sometimes referred to.  If you start treatment now, it can stop the spot from developing into a fully-blown cold sore.

A treatment that is known for its ability to stop the virus in its tracks is Abreva.  In order to read the review of Abreva, just click on the link. You can also look at the latest customer reviews on Amazon.com.

Cold Sore Triggers

Preventing Recurring Cold Sores

  • Use chapsticks or lip balm (with sunscreen) in the summer and winter months.  This will help to protect your lips.
  • Never kiss anyone when you have a cold sore because you are highly contagious.
  • When it has healed, change toothbrushes or anything else that you put near the sore, such as razors or tweezers.
  • If you do happen to touch it, wash your hands immediately, to prevent it spreading.

They are not only painful, but they are embarrassing.  By avoiding the triggers that may cause a cold sore to erupt, you can avoid getting them as frequently.  When you are able to catch a cold sore in its early stages, you will be able to stop it from getting worse.

How Long Does It Take for Cold Sores to Heal?

A cold sore, left untreated, takes anywhere from 10 to 14 days to heal on its own.  If you do leave them untreated, be careful not to touch them.  If you get the fluid on your finger, you can easily infect another area of your lip or surrounding skin with the virus.

When you are able to find out what triggers a cold sore, you have an advantage.  Also, by keeping a good cold sore treatment on hand, you will be able to stop any blisters from forming.

They are never nice to deal with, but as long as you take the precautions to avoid the most common cold sore triggers, you won’t have to deal with them nearly as often.