Can Using Cold Sore Remedies -
Prevent the Spread of Oral Herpes?
When asked to recommend cold sore remedies for my customers, of primary concern is whether they can pass the herpes virus on to children, partners or even pets by sharing lipstick, cigarettes, utensils and even toothbrushes or razor blades.
In my experience many people feel panicky when they realise they have been in contact with somebody who has cold sores and want to understand their risk of contracting the HSV-1 virus (oral herpes).
Exactly How Contagious Are Cold Sores?
Unfortunately these little tingling bumps are extremely contagious and can most assuredly be passed on by sharing cutlery, lipsticks and balms, razors, toothbrushes, cigarettes and pipes. It doesn’t matter what cold sore remedies you are applying, you are still a carrier of the virus and can pass it on to others.
Many of my customers were understandably surprised when they discovered that people can be contagious even if the virus is dormant i.e. they are not having a cold sore flare up and may never have had a cold sore. It is important to note here that it is possible to be a carrier and be completely unaware.
Anybody who has had chicken pox at any stage during their lives is at risk of a herpes flare up at any point. This usually happens when conditions inside the body become favorable to support the virus becoming active such as lowered immunity, chronic illness and stress.
Could you have Herpes Type 1?
It is interesting to note that, most of us already have the virus! Most experts agree that approximately 70% - 80% of people over forty in the developed world have the virus present in their body.
If you’ve ever had a cold sore then you almost certainly have it, but even if you’ve never had one you could still harbor the virus. In the last 20 years or so these rates have started to decrease slightly as there is more awareness about its contagious nature.
Herpes type 1 is spread by contact with secretions from infected areas and can be spread by all of the following everyday items. Don’t forget that it can also be spread by sharing cold sore remedies -prescription or natural- between infected people.
Items that may spread Herpes type 1:
- Lipstick and balms
- Cutlery and other eating utensils such as cups
- Smoking devices including pipes and electronic cigarettes
A few years ago there was a widely reported case of several students who caught oral herpes using a hookah pipe. So there really is no discrimination when it comes to cold sores and despite any cold sore treatments used to cure the outward manifestations the virus can still be spread.
Is there a Cure for Oral Herpes?
There is no cure for the virus and it doesn’t need to be active to be spread so you can’t avoid it by kissing only those without obvious cold sores. It can be passed on from baby to parent, child to child or child to grandparent very easily. About half of us have been infected by the time we enter high school.
So what is the common sense approach to avoiding having to apply those unpleasant creams and potions? My mom always told my brothers and I to avoid sharing food and utensils and never to share Chap Stick at school and she was right. Moms always are.
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