Cold sores are extremely common. Once you are infected the virus lives on the skin and can re- occur at anytime. They tend to flare up when you are tired, unwell, run down and are more common and problematic in people with pre-existing chronic diseases which can lower their immune system.

Cold Sores by Doctor Jane

The HSV virus stays in a nerve junction near the spinal cord and may sometimes reappear, from time to time. Other herpes viruses also hide away and may recur; for example, chickenpox/shingles and glandular fever, but they do not cause cold sores.

The triggers that cause cold sores to re occur vary from person to person. To get on top of your breakouts try to find out what causes them so that you can try to prevent them. Common reasons for recurrences are illness, stress, tiredness, being run down, having a period, too much alcohol or ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or sunbeds.

Cold Sores by Doctor Jane

Anti-viral cream can help, but it’s true when they apply when you feel the tingle rather than wait for the cold sore to appear on the skin. ​Also they aren’t the prettiest, it’s best NOT to attempt to cover them up and leave them to heal naturally. As excessive touching area can spread the virus. If you get re-current cold sores please see your GP.

Dr Jane Leonard


Liverpool – Manchester – London 

104 Harley Street, London W1G 7JD 

+44 (0)20 7632 7558