Cold Sore Myths

By WhittyIdeas


We occasionally hear assumptions and myths on the nature of a cold sore. In this infographic, we show you what is a fact or false to the 8 most cold sore myths.

Cold Sore Myths

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Myth 1: Cold sores are only contagious when you can see a blister.
Fact: Cold sores are contagious from the first tingle until it’s completely healed.

Myth 2: The cold sore virus (Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1, HSV-1) cannot spread beyond the lip area.
False: HSV-1 affects the lips or mouth, but can spread to the eyes or genitals.

Myth 3: Everyone who contracts the cold sore virus will experience an outbreak.
False: 90% of adults may have been infected by the cold sore virus but not everyone gets cold sore outbreaks. Only 20%-40% of people will experience cold sores.

Myth 4: Ingredients like camphor, menthol and phenol cannot heal a cold sore.
Fact: Though these common lip balm and ointment ingredients can soothe or moisturize your cold sore, they’re not clinically proven to heal it.

Myth 5: Ice helps cold sores heal faster.
False: Ice temporarily relieves symptoms and help reduce redness and swelling but doesnt speed up healing process.

Myth 6: Distilled vinegar prevents cold sore outbreaks.
False: Vinegar helps with many things but preventing cold sore outbreaks is not one of them.

Myth 7: Alcohol or witch hazel kills the viruses in cold sores.
False: Alcohol and witch hazel are astringents that dries out your cold sore. Not clinically proven to speed the healing of a cold sore.

Myth 8: Tea bags heal cold sores.
False: They will not make your cold sore go away faster.

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Last Updated: June 5, 2014


Disclaimer

This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information here is not advice, and should not be treated as such. This website is not to be used as an alternative to a doctor or other healthcare professional. You should never delay in seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment based on this information.
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