Why are cold sores more common in winter?

Why are cold sores more common in winter?

There are few moments more frustrating than feeling the tingle that signals a cold sore outbreak.

Unfortunately right now, studies have demonstrated that the cold sore virus — which about 80% of adults carry — is more easily triggered in winter. This stems from a variety of reasons, including heightened stress levels, cold, dry weather and an increase in the flu. And while there is no concrete method to prevent a cold sore, there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood.

First, as much as you can, try and lessen your stress. Driving on icy roads, holiday shopping, early darkness — all of these can raise stress levels which, in turn, weakens the immune system. Give your preferred stress relievers — be it yoga, a roaring fire or your favorite book — extra attention in the winter months for that boost your body might need.

Further, run a humidifier inside to stave off the dry air. Then make sure to wrap up with your coziest scarf and apply Carmex Classic lip balm before you brave the elements. Dry air makes a more inviting environment for the cold sore virus, so make sure to keep those lips properly hydrated.

Finally, take the basic precautions to guard yourself against a cold or flu. These viruses weaken the immune system — making a cold sore outbreak more likely — so wash your hands, drink plenty of water and clean your phone screen and keyboard regularly.