Although you can’t cure or prevent cold sores, you can take steps to reduce their cycle and to limit the duration of an occurrence. You can take steps to guard against cold sores, to prevent spreading them to other parts of your body, or to avoid passing them along to others:
- Do not kiss or have skin contact with people while blisters are present. The virus can easily spread as long as there are moist secretions from your blisters.
- Stop sharing items. Accessories, utensils, towels and other items can spread the virus when blisters are present.
- Always keep your hands clean. Wash your hands thoroughly before touching another person when you have a cold sore. Be weary about touching other parts of your body. Your eyes and genital area are particularly susceptible to spread of the virus.
- Avoid triggers. Situations that can trigger cold sores include excessive exposure to the sun. Use sunblock. Use sunblock on your lips and face before prolonged exposure to the sun — during both the winter and the summer — to help prevent cold sores.