Cold sores affect almost 30 million people in the UK, in particular during the summer season when the majority of cold sore sufferers get their worst outbreaks due to the increased sun and stress of travelling to holiday destinations.
Louisa Geer, 25, is an insurance adviser from Eastbourne in East Sussex
“As a girl at an all girls school you’d never find a photo of me smiling. I grew my hair long and I used to hide behind it as my cold sores were so bad I hated anyone looking at my mouth and I felt that if I smiled it would draw more attention to my mouth. It also hurt to smile.[quote]”I also had braces so what with the braces and cold sores frankly my mouth was a mess and I hated people looking at it.[/quote]
“Both my Dad and myNanhad cold sores. I have had them from ten years old onwards. When I was teenager I go them so badly I’d have to drink with a straw. I’d get up to three at a time and I found it hard to eat as they were so painful. Not only was it painful to smile, I rarely felt like smiling.”
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus and once you have contracted the virus they can reappear annoyingly.
Several factors have been identified as common triggers for these outbreaks, including hormonal fluctuations associated with the menstrual cycle, stress or an impaired immune system from illness or fatigue. Chapped lips from cold weather can also lead to a cold sore outbreak. Sun is also a major trigger.[quote]“I got cold sores every month. It felt like I had them constantly. In the summer I’d get them as soon the sun came out. I’d get picked on by girls at school who’d always be on at me about what was wrong with my lips.[/quote]
“As a teenager I’d avoid parties and social event because I hated the way my face looked when I had cold sores. If I did go out I’d always wear my hair down and a hat or something to distract people from looking at my mouth.
“When I first started dating boys, it was a problem as I was always having to cancel dates due to my cold sores and I’d never say the truth about why it was, and they would think I didn’t like them. My mum was always telling me to tell them the truth but I didn’t want to in case they didn’t want to see me again and I was so embarrassed.
“I have tried literally everything for cold sores. I have tried putting toothpaste on them. I investigated having special injections from my doctor in my lips to make them go faster. I have tried everything from the chemists. Nothing really worked. I’d get rid of one and then another one would appear. It would take two weeks to get rid of one no matter what I did. “
Treatments for cold sores are generally restricted to topical gels and creams for use only once the actual sores have appeared. There are few treatments available which have a preventative effect on cold sores in between outbreaks.
“I found out about Liquorice Balm from a colleague at work who said she had read about it in a magazine. I looked it up on line and ordered some as it was cheap and so I thought I’d give it a go as I will always try anything fro cold sores at least once just in case it works.”[quote]Liquorice lip balm was found to be effective in a double-blind trial, carried out by the Herpes Viruses Association. It reduced the severity and duration of outbreaks for over 73% of subjects tested and, furthermore, 83% of subjects using the liquorice balm reported experiencing less severe outbreaks than when using their conventional treatments. While using the liquorice lip balm, testers reported that on average their outbreaks were only half their normal length.[/quote]
“I have never looked back since. In the last two years I’ve had two beginnings of a cold sore but the sore never really broke out, it was just a small lump that never got any bigger. The change has been so dramatic it’s hard to believe. I feel like it’s changed my life. I simply don’t get cold sores any more. If I get the slightest tingle or lump I put the balm on and within a few days it’s gone. I’d never buy anything else now, and I never go anywhere without my liquorice balm now, not even to work. It’s a miracle product.”
Finally I have now got something to smile about and I do smile all the time. My friends and family say it’s changed my whole personality getting rid of my cold sores.”