How to Prevent Cold Sores

This time of year comes with much stress, a weakened immune system along with a whole other difficulty. For those that have to deal with cold sore outbreaks, this time of year is one that puts them on high alert.

The arrival of a cold sore is a most unwelcome one, causing pain both physically and emotionally. I know this all too well, as one of my daughters has gotten a cold sore before, and I’m always looking out for signs of its return. With the cold winds these days, them always playing outside as kids do, the general seasonal dryness which causes dry lips, and with the abundance of school germs causing cold and flu; I know it’s only a matter of time.

Even though there’s no known cure for cold sores, which is a strain of the herpes virus; there are preventative measures to lessen outbreaks, and reduce the duration. These tips are important to help those that have to deal with cold sores, so that the physical and emotional pain is as little as possible.

How to Prevent Cold Sores


How to Prevent Cold Sores


Maintain General Health

Cold Sores {which are a virus} typically flares when the immune system is weak or stress is at a high point. To arm oneself with the best defense, take necessary steps to maintain health such as getting enough sleep, exercise, and relaxation. That being said, if you feel the symptoms of being rundown or sick – be aware that a possible outbreak could occur.

Protect Yourself From The Elements – For some, sunlight is an outbreak trigger. So, apply a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to your face and lips before sun exposure. Make it a habit to wear a lip balm containing sunscreen as well. In addition, the winter months bring harsh weather of cooler temperatures, cold wind on the face, and sunlight reflecting off the white snow. Given this, try and keep your face covered as much as possible. 

Hands-Free – Practice proper hand washing, and keep oily fingers away from the face. Someone I know who regularly gets cold sores had to make a conscious effort to not put their hands up to their face, as they were so used to trying to hide an outbreak. You want the area free to heal and not spread. This step is a little harder with kids, since they touch everything – yet try and keep their hands busy as much as you can so they aren’t tempted to touch or pick.


When Prevention Doesn’t Work


abreva® – the #1 Pharmacist recommended OTC cold sore remedy {for adults and children 12 years of age and over} should be your top resource for healing help when all other preventative tips don’t work as it speeds the healing process and shortens the outbreak time.

To use abreva®, apply the product at the first sign of tingle The key is to apply it five times a day until your cold sore is healed, for a maximum of 10 days.

When that first tingling sensation, burning or itching happens, a cold sore is coming. This is the time to trust in abreva®. Not only is it real medicine that works, but also a great value since one tube will last approximately two cold sore outbreaks. I urge you to check out their website as it’s a great resource for information when it comes to healing cold sores.

how to prevent a cold sore outbreak

*When used as directed

Taking precautions and knowing to trust in the right medication, like abreva® {available in both tube and pump}, does greatly affect the duration of cold sores. These tips could make all the difference this season for someone in your family!


Disclosure: This is a compensated post on behalf of abreva®, yet all opinions are my own.




  1. You either get them or you don’t, all depends if you have the herpes virus. I for one get them 2-3 times a year. I’ve tried lots of different things to try and prevent them and heal them when I do get them. I find using chap stick regularly works for me. When my lips get really dry, it’s a good chance I will get a cold sore. To me the best thing to use is rubbing alcohol to heal it. Not sure why it works but when I feel one coming I put rubbing alcohol on it 2-3 times a day and within 3 days or so it goes away, opposed to a full week.

  2. I’m so glad I don’t get cold sores. I have a friend who gets them terribly, though. I’ll have to send this to him.

  3. I get them and I hate them! My son gets them too and it is SO hard to get him to not touch them. I use Abreva and that stuff works awesome.

  4. Cold sores are the worst! They’re so disgusting. I always bust out Abreva every time I get a cold sore.

  5. My son gets them all the time and when he does he always gets Abreva. It has been the only medicine we could find that would get rid of them quickly.

  6. Oh my goodness, I used to get them all the time. They are super-painful. Last time I got one, I used abreva and it helped so much. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Love this! Cold sores are awful and I’ve been known to get them a few times during the winter. HATE IT. I’ll be using abreva!

  8. My mom gets cold sores frequently. Thankful that I don’t. These are great tips to keep in mind.

  9. I used to get them all the time, I despise them. I’be been taking L-Lysine on a regular and that really helps with the prevention as well. Abreva lives in my bathroom drawer too.

  10. These are great tips! I definitely do not want to get any cold sores. It’s a good idea to have some Abreva on hand just in case!

  11. My husband and daughter get cold sores often. I will share this with them. I hope it will help them feel better.

  12. I hate them. I get them a couple times a year and yes I have noticed it’s when the weather changes. Using chapstick regularly tends to keep them away, at least for me.

  13. Abreva works wonders. I also found that changing my diet and eating better greatly reduced outbreaks. When I start slipping and eating more junk, that’s when I tend to get an outbreak.

  14. I used to get them as a teen but haven’t in a really long time. Making sure they stay away with these tips – thanks!

  15. I get cold sores, and usually when i am stressed. so holidays often become more stressed having one on my lips. I use abreva when I have one. I do believe keeping oneself healthy and the stress level down is helpful.

  16. I get them occasionally for the reasons you mentioned: colds, stress, sun, etc. I don’t think I’ve tried abreva but will consider it next time.

  17. I used to get cold sores so often. They’re miserable! I don’t get them as often anymore, but when I do, Abreva is the only thing that works for me.

  18. I can get them almost back to back for weeks or once in a while. Thanks for the tips!

  19. I’m thankful to have never had a cold sore but I’m glad to have tips for prevention and treatment. From what I’ve heard, they aren’t pleasant!

  20. I use tea tree oil when I feel a tingle so, that they don’t come out full blown. I also read that babies don’t have their immune system when they’re born, it kicks in later, so, it’s best to avoid being near one. A news article in Australia featured the death of a baby who got the virus via a visitor who probaby had it when they touched the baby. I feel bad for the parents who didn’t expect such an incident to happen.

  21. I had the worst coldsore a few weeks ago, so painful. I tried Abreva for the first time and will always keep it with me so the next time I can use it at the first sign!

  22. My sister gets cold sores, I remember as kids she would cry they hurt so bad. Glad this stuff works well for her. Thank you for sharing.

  23. Cold sores are the worst,they are sore and ugly and i get one every year come March.I will try the Abreva.

  24. I used to get them some years ago, and they are truly a curse! So embarassing. I haven’t had a problem in years, though – I like to think I cured myself, but I hear it’s always in your system regardless. I have a lot of empathy when I see people sporting big ones. At least Abreva offers some relief!

  25. Great tips. I get cold sores when I am stressed so next time I feel one coming on I will use Abreva

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