Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Our body has its own way of showing us when something is not right. From obvious symptoms that intervene in our day-to-day routine to small factors that we barely notice, every single sign has to be carefully looked at, in order to understand what the trigger really is.
As we all know, stress and fatigue can have a strong impact on our immune system. When we feel that everything has become too much to cope with, we come to be even more vulnerable to different contaminations. Our body shows its exhaustion through a range of signs, such as skin rashes, hair loss or allergies. But the one significant condition that we rarely associate with tiredness and stress is cold sores.
Cold sores are small blisters on the lips or around the mouth caused by the ‘herpes simplex’ virus. This virus is very common and represents the main reason why we get cold sores. It is passed from person to person by close contact and is highly contagious. The ‘herpes simplex’ virus can remain dormant even if we get infected, but most commonly it is triggered by fatigue or stress.
However, there are a couple of things we can do in order to keep cold sores under control:
1. Be careful with the level of stress and fatigue
A plethora of studies have demonstrated that lack of sleep and stress really makes us more prone to catching different infections. Our immune system weakens when we feel run down and it makes it easier for ‘herpes simplex’ virus to become activated. Therefore, we have to make sure we get good and regular sleep, because cold sores don’t like to see us rested. A good night's sleep is the best way to take a break and allow our system to recover.
Furthermore, we have to find a proper way to cope with stress. Breathing exercises, yoga or meditation are great ways through which we can relax and stop the development of cold sores.
2. Boost the immune system
Taking Echinacea and immunity supplements can really help in boosting our immune system and help it fight against the activation of viruses. Echinacea strengthens and defenses our immunity, shortening the period we are affected by the virus. In addition, vitamin supplements such as zinc, vitamin E, B have a positive impact on healing the skin.
Vitamin C improves white blood cell count, which are the body’s defenders. When an infection sets in, these cells are the ones to fight with it, and having more of them means we will be more effective at fighting off the herpes. Vitamin E relieves the irritating and painful discomfort of cold sores, as well as minimize scarring.
Last but not least, exercise can be the best ally for our immune system. Walk to work, take the stairs or go for an evening walk, it will all add up to the fight of not activating the virus.
3. Ask for medical advice
In most cases, cold sores heal up by themselves. But if you are bothered by frequent, severe cold sores, it is advisable to seek medical advice. In this case, prescription medications can be more effective and Oxford Online Pharmacy’s doctor can help you with that: after the completion of an online questionnaire, your condition will be carefully analysed and a proper prescription will be issued. To find out more about our medical guidance, check the cold sores page.
While you may never be able to completely remove the herpes virus, you can look after yourself to keep cold sores at bay. With Mental Health Awareness Week being celebrated this week, we should all become more aware of the impact that anxiety, sleep deprivation and stress have on our mental health and general wellbeing.
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