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Cold Sores

How can I avoid getting cold sores?

Question

For years I've had an occasional cold sore on my lip - the last two left dreadful scars. Recently I have also been getting them on the entrance to the rectum, which causes extreme itchiness and soreness. They take ages to clear and often reappear after a week or two. I boil underwear and towels and disinfect the toilet seat, but to no avail. Can you suggest anything, please?

Answer

Cold sores - water blisters on the lips - are caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV). The virus enters the thin, delicate skin on the lips and begins to multiply rapidly, causing the blister to appear. The lips are sensitive and have numerous nerve ending, which are irritated by the viral activity. People generally have the notion that cold sores are spread solely by kissing, and men and women alike get very self-conscious about these eruptions. It can, however, spread through any form of contact, especially if the blister has burst or is at the sage where the skin is shedding, as the virus will be more exposed.

The virus can lie dormant in the body: it is activated and causes problems when you are tired and stressed, and the immune system is weak. Then the virus sees its opportunity and begins to multiply. Viruses that cause colds and flu behave similarly. In fact, cold sores and the common cold have much in common (that's why the blisters are called 'cold sores'). In chilly conditions, the body works extra hard to generate more heat and keep its temperature constant at 36oC. This puts a lot of strain on the body and, unless precautions are taken, you get run down and become more susceptible to cold and cold sore viruses.

Genital herpes is caused by a similar virus: the only difference is that the blisters appear on the genitalia. It is rare, however, to have the eruptions in the anal region or entrance to the rectum as you describe. I wonder if your partner has the condition too and it is being spread by sexual contact. If so, he too, needs treatment. He should also consider using a condom.

However, it may be that the virus is in your system. So my advice is that you must follow a strategy to ensure that your immune system is in good shape to beat it.

Here are my suggestions:

  • Sleep is very important. Try to avoid too many late nights, so eat early and be in by bed by 10pm.T he longer your day, the more tiring it is. If you feel tense at bedtime, massage your neck and shoulders for five minutes( there are step-by-step details on my website, see below right) and listen to a relaxation tape, which should take you into a deep sleep.
  • Drink plenty of water during the day - at least 1.5 litres. Dehydration is often the cause of restless sleep, as well as problems such as headaches and constipation.
  • De-stress your mind and body by having a professional massage twice a month, if possible; or get your partner to massage you once a week. Stress increases the heart rate,tenses muscles, increases your metabolic rate and generally makes the body work harder so that it uses up the reserves of energy which k would otherwise need to help the immune system.
  • At the weekends, and during the week too, if possible, walk in the country or a park so that you get plenty of oxygen, which will also, help your immune system to function better.
  • Drink home-made chicken broth with bay leaves and cinnamon twice weekly.
  • Drinking one glass of freshly juices organic carrots, apples and ginger every other day.

Take the following remedies to support your immune system:

  • Bioprash: one tablespoonful with honey, daily for three months; this Ayurvedic supplement keeps the immune system in good order, particularly in the winter months, and will also help keep away colds and coughs.
  • Zinc: one every other day for two months.
  • Aloe Vera: one twice daily for three months.

If you have a cold sore or eruption of HSV:

  • Apply Kolonjioil to the affected area daily for 15 days.
  • If the attack is extreme, ask your doctor for an antiviral treatment such as Acyclovir.
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