5 Reasons People Get Cold Sores & How to Avoid Them

5 Reasons People Get Cold Sores & How to Avoid Them

5 Reasons

Cold sores are a common ailment that can be both uncomfortable and embarrassing. Many people experience cold sores on a regular basis, but few understand the underlying causes of this condition. In this blog article, we will explore the 5 most common reasons people get cold sores and provide tips on how to prevent them from recurring in the future. By gaining a better understanding of the causes of cold sores, you can take steps to reduce their frequency and severity, and enjoy clearer, healthier skin.

Smoking With a Cold Sore

Did you know that smoking can increase your risk of developing cold sores? While the link between smoking and cold sores may not be immediately apparent, there is a significant amount of scientific evidence to support this connection.

So, how does smoking cause cold sores? One of the key reasons is that smoking weakens your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off infections like the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) that causes cold sores. Tar, carbon monoxide and other harmful chemicals in cigarettes can damage the cells in your mouth and throat, leaving them more vulnerable to infection.

In addition, smoking can cause inflammation and damage to the blood vessels in your body, reducing the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your cells receive. This can compromise your immune system even further, making it easier for the herpes virus to take hold and cause cold sores.

Research has also shown that smokers are more likely to experience recurrent cold sores than non-smokers. This is thought to be because smoking can cause changes in the cells of the mouth and throat, making these cells more welcoming of the herpes virus.

So, if you're a smoker who frequently suffers from cold sores, it may be time to consider quitting. By giving up cigarettes, you can help to strengthen your immune system and reduce your risk of developing cold sores in the future. Not to mention, quitting smoking can have numerous other health benefits, such as reducing your risk of cancer, heart disease, and respiratory problems.

In conclusion, smoking can cause cold sores by weakening the immune system, damaging cells, and reducing oxygen and nutrient supply to cells. By quitting smoking, you can improve your overall health and reduce your risk of developing cold sores, as well as a host of other health problems.

Can Coffee Cause Cold Sores?

Many people rely on coffee to start their day, but can this beloved beverage actually cause cold sores? While there is no direct link between coffee and cold sores, there are some factors that could potentially increase your risk of developing them.

One of the main ways that coffee could contribute to cold sores is through its effect on the immune system. Coffee contains caffeine, which is a stimulant that can increase the production of cortisol, a hormone that regulates the immune response. While cortisol is essential for a healthy immune system, excessive amounts can actually weaken it, making it harder for your body to fight off infections like the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) that causes cold sores.

In addition, coffee can cause dehydration, which can also compromise the immune system and make it easier for cold sores to take hold. When you're dehydrated, your body has a harder time producing enough saliva to keep your mouth and lips moist, which can create an environment that is more hospitable to the herpes virus.

However, it's important to note that there is no conclusive evidence linking coffee to cold sores. While some studies have suggested a possible correlation, others have found no association between the two.

So, if you're a coffee lover who experiences cold sores, it may be worth paying attention to your caffeine intake and making sure you're staying hydrated throughout the day. But don't worry - you don't necessarily have to give up your morning cup of coffee altogether!

Can Cold Sores Spread Through Pillows?

The risk of transmission through pillows is very low. The herpes virus is fragile and does not survive well outside of the body. This means that unless someone with an active cold sore has directly touched their pillow with their infected skin, it is unlikely that the virus will survive on the surface of the pillow long enough to infect someone else.

However, it is still possible for cold sores to be transmitted indirectly through shared pillows. If someone with an active cold sore has touched their face or mouth and then touched their pillow, the virus could potentially be present on the surface of the pillow. If someone else then touches the same area of the pillow and then touches their own face or mouth, they could potentially be infected.

While this risk is low, there are some precautions that you can take to reduce your chances of transmitting or contracting cold sores through pillows. For example, if someone in your household has an active outbreak, it's a good idea to wash their pillowcase frequently and avoid sharing pillows with them.

What Foods Can Cause Cold Sores?

While there is no definitive list of foods that cause cold sores, there are some foods that have been linked to outbreaks in some people.

One of the most commonly cited triggers for cold sores is arginine, an amino acid that is found in many foods. Arginine is necessary for the body to produce certain proteins, but excessive amounts can actually promote the growth of the herpes virus.

Foods that are high in arginine include chocolate, nuts (particularly peanuts and almonds), seeds (such as pumpkin and sesame seeds), and some types of grains (such as wheat and oats). While these foods don't necessarily cause cold sores on their own, they can potentially trigger an outbreak in someone who is already infected with HSV-1.

On the other hand, foods that are high in lysine, another amino acid, may help to prevent cold sores or reduce their severity. Lysine helps to inhibit the growth of the herpes virus and can be found in foods like dairy products, meat, fish, and eggs.

While the link between food and cold sores is not fully understood, some studies have suggested that certain dietary changes may be beneficial for people who experience frequent outbreaks. For example, a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that participants who consumed a high-lysine, low-arginine diet had fewer cold sores and less severe symptoms than those who followed a high-arginine, low-lysine diet.

In conclusion, while there is no definitive list of foods that cause cold sores, some people may find that certain foods like chocolate, nuts, and grains high in arginine can trigger outbreaks. On the other hand, foods high in lysine like dairy, meat, fish, and eggs may help to prevent or reduce the severity of cold sores. If you experience frequent outbreaks, it may be worth considering making dietary changes to help manage your symptoms.

Cold Sores from the Sun

The sun is one of the most common triggers for cold sores. While many people assume that sunburn is the main culprit behind sun-induced cold sores, there is actually a more complex biological process at work.

UV radiation from the sun can damage the skin, causing inflammation and impairing the immune system's ability to fight off infections. This can create an environment that is favourable for the herpes virus to replicate and cause an outbreak.

In addition, the sun can also cause changes in the levels of certain hormones and cytokines (proteins that regulate immune function), which can further weaken the immune system and increase the risk of a cold sore outbreak.

Some studies have suggested that people who are exposed to high levels of sunlight, such as those who work outdoors, may be at higher risk for cold sores. For example, a study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that people who work outdoors were more likely to have antibodies against HSV-1 than those who worked indoors.

To reduce the risk of sun-induced cold sores, it's important to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays. However, our oldsore cold sore oil protects you from UV rays, so it prevents the sunshine from causing cold sores. Which means you can go out and enjoy the sunshine without worrying about getting a cold sore.


In conclusion, cold sores can be triggered by a variety of factors, including, smoking, caffeine and certain foods. Understanding these triggers and taking steps to avoid them can help to reduce the frequency and severity of outbreaks. Additionally, using a cold sore treatment like oldsore can help to speed up the healing process and provide relief from symptoms.

If you're looking for a fast and effective cold sore treatment, consider giving oldsore a try. With its strong blend of natural ingredients, oldsore can help to cure your cold sore in just 24 hours for just £15 per bottle. Don't let cold sores stress you out any longer - get your bottle of oldsore today.