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Cold sores can be hard to deal with, not to mention hide. Often time using a lip blush can cause the outbreak to become more noticeable. Lip blushes can also irritate the skin, causing the sore to become inflamed. So, what can you do to treat a cold sore after lip blush?
Let’s start with the basics of cold sores. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two types of HSV: HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 is usually responsible for cold sores, while HSV-2 is usually responsible for genital herpes. However, both viruses can cause either type of infection. When cold sores appear, it’s because the virus has reactivated from its dormant state. This can be due to stress, illness, or fatigue. Once the virus is active, it travels to the surface of the skin and begins replicating. This causes the characteristic red, blistery rash.
There is no cure for HSV, so cold sores will recur. However, there are treatments that can help to shorten the duration of an outbreak and reduce the severity of symptoms.
Now, let’s talk about how lip blushes can create inflammation and irritation. Lip blushes are semi-permanent makeup that is applied to the lips. It can be done with a brush, airbrush, or even a tattoo gun. The pigment is implanted into the skin using fine needles. This can irritate the skin and cause inflammation. If you have HSV-1, this can trigger an outbreak of cold sores.
To treat a cold sore after lip blush, here are a few strategies:
1. Apply a lip balm or ointment
Lip balms can help to soothe irritated skin and hold in moisture. This can help to speed up the healing process. Look for lip balms or ointments that contain ingredients like beeswax, cocoa butter, or petrolatum. While ointments contain essential chemical compounds, they can also help to keep the area hydrated which is crucial for healing. Apply the lip balm or ointment several times a day, especially after applying lip blush or other makeup products.
2. Avoid irritants
As much as possible, avoid any irritants that can trigger an outbreak or make symptoms worse. This includes lip blushes, as well as other makeup products. If you must wear makeup, be sure to clean your face thoroughly and remove all traces of makeup before going to bed. You should also avoid touching or picking at the cold sore. This can delay healing and increase the risk of infection.
3. Apply a cold compress
A cold compress can help to reduce swelling and pain. Ice reduces swelling through a process called vasoconstriction. This is when the blood vessels constrict, or narrow, in response to the cold temperature. This decreases blood flow to the area and reduces swelling. Apply a cold compress for 10-15 minutes at a time, several times a day.
3. Use a topical antiviral cream
Topical antiviral creams can help to speed up the healing process by preventing the HSV virus from replicating. These creams are available without a prescription and can be found in most drugstores. Apply the cream according to the package directions. Be sure to wash your hands before and after applying the cream.
4. Take oral antiviral medication
Oral antiviral medications can also help to speed up the healing process by preventing the HSV virus from replicating. These medications are available by prescription and can be taken for 5-10 days. Common oral antivirals include acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir.
5. Keep the area clean and dry
Be sure to keep the area clean and dry. This will help to prevent infection and speed up the healing process. Gently wash the area with soap and water several times a day. Pat the area dry with a clean, soft towel.
6. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has antiviral and antibacterial properties. It can help to speed up the healing process and prevent infection. Apply a small amount of apple cider vinegar to a cotton ball and apply it to the cold sore. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and then rinse it off with water. Repeat this several times a day.
7. Essential Oils
Another remedy to treat cold sores after lip blush is using essential oils. Some essential oils have antiviral and antibacterial properties that can help to speed up the healing process. Tea tree oil, lavender oil, oregano oil, and peppermint oil are all effective against HSV-1. Using a carrier oil, like coconut oil or jojoba oil, dilute 3-5 drops of essential oil and apply it to the cold sore. Repeat this several times a day.
Honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It can help to speed up the healing process and reduce pain and swelling. There are many different types of honey, but manuka honey is the most effective against HSV-1. Apply a small amount of honey to the cold sore and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse it off with water and repeat this several times a day.
Similar to honey, propolis also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is a resin that is produced by bees and can be found in bee hive. Propolis can help to speed up the healing process and reduce pain and swelling. Apply a small amount of propolis to the cold sore and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse it off with water and repeat this several times a day.
10. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. It can help to speed up the healing process and reduce pain and swelling. Apply a small amount of tea tree oil to a cotton ball and apply it to the cold sore. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and then rinse it off with water. Repeat this several times a day.
11. Stress reduction
Stress can trigger an outbreak of HSV-1. It is important to find ways to reduce stress in your life. This can include exercise, meditation, and getting enough sleep. If you are under a lot of stress, you may want to consider seeing a therapist.
What not to do
- As with any type of sore or irritation, do not pick at it or rub insistently as this will only make it worse.
- Avoid acidic foods, such as tomatoes, as these can sting.
- Don’t try to pop the blister as this will also make it worse and potentially cause an infection.
- Do not share lip balm, lipstick, or other items that come in contact with your lips as this can spread the virus.
- Avoid kissing or coming in close contact with others until the sore has healed completely to prevent spreading the virus.
What to expect
- Most cold sores will heal on their own within 2-3 weeks.
- If you are using home remedies, you may see a difference in the sore within a few days.
- If you are using a medication, it is important to take it for the full course of treatment.
Treating a cold sore after a lip blush can be difficult. If you have a cold sore after lip blush, it’s important to treat it right away. By following the steps above, you can help to speed up the healing process and reduce the risk of infecting others. These are a few strategies that can help to treat a cold sore after lip blush. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.