Most people love to spend some time outside, soaking up the sun. In the summer months, it’s impossible to keep some people away from those warming rays. But, it’s important to consider what those sun rays could be doing to your health. People who are prone to the virus appear to be more likely to get cold sores due to sun exposure.
- What Are the Common Cold Sore Triggers?
- Why Do My Cold Sores Keep Spreading?
- How Are Cold Sores Transmitted to Other People?
Cold sores show up for a variety of reasons. Most of these reasons are actually nothing more than ‘flare up’ conditions. What does that mean? There are plenty of perfect conditions in which a cold sore can break through the surface of the skin. The common cold, for example, can weaken your immune system enough to allow a cold sore to show up.
Other common conditions include cold sore triggers like stress, fatigue, or any kind of illness. Exposure to extremely cold, dry air can cause cold sores to appear, as well as – you guessed it – too much exposure to the sun. But are any of these conditions actually causing the problem?
Table of Contents:
Are Cold Sores Caused by Sun Exposure?
No, cold sores themselves are not ’caused’ by exposure to the sun. They are caused by the HSV-1 virus, sometimes known as facial herpes. This is a virus that can be contracted at any point in your life, and can even be contracted by babies and children. The good news about HSV-1 is that it remains dormant within your body. Many people may never even realize they have it.
However, the conditions we touched on above make it easy for the virus to essentially ‘show itself.’ When our immune systems are compromised in any way, the virus already within us can penetrate through the skin, causing cold sores.
While it is actually not widely known as to why the UV rays of the sun are a strong cold sore trigger, it is believed that overexposure to these rays can, in fact, weaken your immune system. When this happens, it becomes harder for your body to fight of viruses and infections. Too much sun, then, can easily trigger a cold sore.
So, why cold sores themselves aren’t technically caused by the sun, it’s important to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. Unfortunately, you cannot get rid of the HSV-1 virus once it’s inside you. Until there is a complete cure for the herpes virus, that will remain. But, there are plenty of ways to treat cold sores. If you have flare ups due to sun exposure, protecting yourself is a great place to start.
What is Ultraviolet Radiation?
Ultraviolet radiation is a direct byproduct of the sun and the amount of rays that are emitted is dependent on how close you are to the equator, the elevation of your location, and the level of cloud cover in the sky. The higher you are in the air (the closer you are to the sun), the more potent the UV rays will become.
It is healthy to get a small amount of UV radiation on a regular basis as it is essential for helping your body produce vitamin D. Too much can lead to a variety of health ailments ranging from cold sores caused by sunlight to skin cancer. It’s also known that overexposure to UV rays compromises your immune system, according to the World Health Organization.
Protecting Yourself from Too Much Sun
You probably already know that protecting yourself from the sun in general is important. The sun’s UV rays give off a lot of Vitamin D, which can be a good thing. As people, we actually need a certain amount of Vitamin D in order to be healthy. A deficiency in the vitamin can cause us to become lethargic, or even sick.
You can definitely have ‘too much of a good thing’ when it comes to sun exposure. While UV rays can provide us with essential vitamins, they can also be harmful. Think about it this way; you likely wouldn’t go out to the beach on a sunny day without covering your skin in sunscreen, right? Most sunscreens are designed with certain SPFs that show the strength of their ability to block out harmful UV rays.
Your protection plan against the sun should be no different when it comes to your lips. Cold sores often show up around the mouth or nasal area. Unfortunately, our skin can be more sensitive there, making it even more important to protect it from the sun’s rays.
How to Protect Yourself
To protect yourself from UV radiation, which can weaken your immune system, simply be conscious of how much time you’re spending in the sun. Additionally, try carrying a lip balm that contains sunscreen.
You should look for a balm that contains an SPF of at least 30 to help protect you from UVA, and UVB rays. Your lips are exposed constantly to the sun. Even on cloudy days, the sun’s rays can do more damage than we might realize. So, if you have to be outside, and you’re prone to flare ups after spending a lot of time in the sun, protect yourself properly.
Other Treatment Options
If you do experience a flare up after too much sun exposure, treating a cold sore quickly can help to reduce the overall discomfort, and shorten the healing time. Again, you won’t be able to ‘get rid of’ the HSV-1 virus inside you. But, you absolutely can get rid of the cold sores caused by it.
Left untreated, cold sores will typically run their course in about 10 days, to two weeks. Using an over-the-counter option or a natural solution, like tea tree oil, can shorten that healing time. It will also help reduce the discomfort caused by blistering and cracking.
HERP-B-GONE is a revolutionary formula that has been scientifically proven to help get rid of cold sores due to sun exposure. Created by Hanna Yoseph, MD, this treatment gives your body relief from a variety of skin conditions including cold sores, herpes, and shingles. The formula includes BHT (Butylated Hydroxyltoluene) to help reduce the prevalence of cold sores on any part of your body.
You will also be able to take advantage of the soothing ingredients. They will help to tame redness and inflammation once the medicine soaks into the cold sore and starts to help it fade. When you purchase the cream it will come in discreet packaging with labels that are easy to remove so you can have a reliable treatment without having to explain it to anyone that finds it. Click on the link below to read the review:
Reducing Your Risk of Cold Sores Due to Sun Exposure
Keep in mind that cold sores aren’t caused by the sun, but a virus. The sun simply works as a trigger to weaken your immune system. When your body can’t fight against viruses and infections, cold sores can easily appear. Thankfully, you can reduce your risk of cold sores due to sun exposure by protecting your lips the same way you might with any other part of your body.
Prevention is the best way to ‘treat’ a cold sore – stop it before it starts! So, by avoiding a lot of direct sunlight, and protecting your lips with a high-SPF balm, you should be able to avoid the sun being a powerful trigger. If you know that you’re prone to cold sore flare ups after exposure to sunlight, keep these preventative tips in mind to lower your overall risk.