If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I had my first ever cold sore last week. I woke up last Monday with pink-eye like symptoms and my mouth was swollen. I had no idea what was going on until later in the day when the cold sore made it’s official appearance and there was no denying it. Justin, my husband, deals with cold sores quite often, but I had never had one! Thankfully, he keeps Abreva, the only over-the-counter medication approved by the FDA that is proven to shorten healing time of a cold sore, on hand so I started applying it right away.
Monday also happened to be Bryson’s fourth birthday, but I felt terrible. I had to take my contacts out, then I couldn’t find my glasses so I just could not see it all. Instead of spending the day with Bryson, he spent the day with my Dad while Bella and I rested. I found my glasses Monday night and woke up feeling a little better Tuesday morning. By Wednesday, I was able to put my contacts back in but my cold sore kept getting worse. I would always nag at Justin for picking at his cold sores, but now I totally get it. It was so hard to just leave it alone and it was painful.
It’s now 10 days later and my cold sore is still healing, but it’s no longer painful or huge or swollen. I tried my hardest to stay in the house and keep my mouth covered, because even though I know it’s just a cold sore- it’s still embarrassing. Y’all, my mouth was so swollen that my husband said I looked like someone had punched me. I know that more than likely, I did not have pink-eye, but I had instead touched my mouth and then my eye and spread the virus to that area. I’ve been washing my hands like crazy!
Since getting my first cold sore, I’ve done a lot of research on them. I know that probably sounds weird, but I research everything. Here are a few things I’ve found out:
- ·A cold sore is a blister that forms on or around the lips and is usually caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus
(HSV-1).6 HSV-1 usually affects the lips or mouth but can spread to the eyes or genitals.
- Most cold sore sufferers aren’t exactly sure when they first encountered the virus because HSV-1 is usually
contracted early in childhood.
- While it’s likely that up to 90% of adults have been infected by the cold sore virus, not everyone gets cold
sore outbreaks.8 Actually, only 20%-40% of people will experience cold sores.
- About 80 million Americans suffer from cold sores, which can be unsightly and sometimes painful.
I also learned that you can apply Abreva up to five times per day. I didn’t know this, so I was only using it twice a day. My cold sore would probably be totally healed by now if I had known that. Either way, I’m so glad we had Abreva on hand and it’s no wonder it’s the number one pharmacist recommended over-the-counter cold sore treatment.
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