True to their name, cold sores are most prevalent in winter, so it's time to start prepping for the season ahead.
Marie Stopes Australia head of telehealth, and nurse at Marie Stopes Australia, Jane Hooker has provided her tips to keep cold sores away as the colder months approach.
1. Protect your lips
"Cold winds can dry out your lips so make sure you always have lip balm on hand or better still wrap a scarf around your mouth to protect them from harsh winds."
2. Boost your immune system
"Cold sores can rear their heads when your body is busy fighting off those winter bugs. Eat plenty of leafy greens, keep up your vitamin C and avoid stress if possible."
3. Watch your bacteria down there
"Antibiotics used to treat winter bacterial bugs can lead to thrush. Thrush causes irritation of the skin which can spark genital herpes outbreaks if you have the herpes virus, particularly HSV2. So make sure you treat any thrush outbreaks as soon as possible."
4. Wear breathable clothing
"Tights and other close-fitting garments can increase the risk of bacterial vaginosis and thrush. Avoid tight fitting pants and synthetic underwear and give yourself some time to breathe."
5. Avoid sex
"Avoid kissing and oral sex when you have a cold sore, especially at the ‘tingling stage’. Also avoid sex if you have a genital herpes outbreak."
Jane adds that both strains of herpes can occur on the face and genitals, which is why it's best to lay off kissing and oral sex.