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Stopping the spread in your household

The most unfortunate fact about cold sores is how, at the present time, there is no cure. There are only ways of managing outbreaks so they're less painful and visible. The second most unfortunate (and extremely infuriating) fact is that they're highly contagious until they completely heal.

While it's true that the majority of the population has already been exposed to the virus and simply don't show any visible symptoms, you still need to be wary of coming into contact with others if you have the virus. If you do end up accidentally passing it onto someone else, they're not likely to thank you for it.

But you don't have to put yourself in quarantine in order to stop it spreading. The following simple advice will help if you're a sufferer yourself or if you regularly come into contact with a partner, housemate, co-worker, or family member who regularly suffers themselves. If everyone is aware of the ways in which to stop a cold sore spreading, then the risk is kept to a minimum.

Don't pick

You will want to avoid touching the affected area as much as possible, as this can cause the virus to spread to your fingers and possibly then to other parts of your face, not to mention make the healing process last a lot longer and potentially leave you with a scar.

Wash your hands

Even if you make sure you don't interfere with your blemish, washing your hands with antibacterial soap and warm water will help ensure that the HSV-1 virus stays off your fingers.

If you're worried that washing your hands too much will cause the skin to become dry, make sure you carry some moisturising lotion around with you.

It's not always good to share
When suffering from a cold sore, some things are best kept to yourself. Some of these may seem obvious (and you probably avoid sharing these anyway), but here's a quick rundown of the items you don't want anyone other than yourself using:

  • Glasses and mugs
  • Eating utensils
  • Towels
  • Toothbrushes
  • Lip balms/lipstick
  • Razors

No Kissing

Again, this may seem obvious, but if you're in a relationship and suddenly suffer an outbreak, kissing is off limits until the cold sore is completely healed. Your other half will surely understand. The same goes for any close relatives.

Keep it in control with HerstatHaving a tube of Herstat handy will give you the best fighting chance of keeping your HSV-1 outbreak under control.

We use the secret weapon of propolis, a natural ingredient produced by bees, in our cream which can help treat and relieve the symptoms.

In fact, if you use it early enough, you may find that your cold sore is gone before people even notice. Remember, though, that a cold sore doesn't have to be visible to be contagious (let's count that as unfortunate/infuriating fact number three), so even if you feel as though you've successfully managed to keep your latest outbreak under wraps, you should still make sure you follow the above advice every time you feel that dreaded tingle.

Just ask! Don't steal the best cold sore cure

It's amazing how many people are too embarrassed to simply go into the pharmacy and ask for a remedy for a health complaint such as piles, thrush, verrucas or a cold sore.

What is not amazing, however, is just how common such health complaints are. While, in the case of the shy person looking to find the best cold sore cure evidence of it is actually on his or her face, so the request for treatment is hardly likely to come as a surprise to the chemist behind the counter.

In fact, so common is such embarrassment that, according to the Co-operative Pharmacy, two in five patients would rather let an "embarrassing" complaint fester than seek face-to-face advice.

Fortunately, if you are looking for a great cold sore remedy, Herstat can be purchased safely and securely online; something the survey said two thirds of patients would rather do in preference to purchasing their treatments in-store.

If only someone had told a 39-year-old man from New Jersey in the United States this. He was recently charged with third-degree shop-lifting and theft after stealing, among other embarrassing ailment treatments, what he believed to be the best cold sore cure.

He now faces up to 10 years in state prison as well as a fine of $30,000.

New cold sore remedy put to the test

Cold sores – or the HSV-1 virus to be exact – have baffled scientists and frustrated many sufferers for years and years. Despite it being a very common infection, there has still been no success in finding a cure.

But a healthcare entrepreneur from New Zealand plans to change all that with a new trial, one of the largest of its kind.

The trial will involve 950 cold sore sufferers from the city of Tauranga. It will see how well medical grade New Zealand kanuka honey does against the infection.

The research will be carried out by Honeylab, a company that undertakes research into the medical benefits of honey and other bee products. The co-founder of Honeylab, Dr Shaun Holt, describes how an initial smaller study showed the honey's potential for being very effective against the virus. "The honey activates against the virus; and, perhaps more importantly, we know honey heals wounds and a cold sore is basically a very difficult wound to heal."

In order to conduct the study, the company has set up about 50 pharmacies around the country and is asking for people who have had a cold sore outbreak start within 48 hours to go to one of the pharmacies and try out the new treatment.

Holt hopes that the study will lead to a breakthrough in how people treat their cold sores:

"We're not just seeing if our product works, we are putting ourselves up against the best current treatment in the world. And we are trying to beat it."

Using bee products to try and tame the HSV-1 virus is not a new idea, however. Honey has been used to treat cold sores as far back as ancient Egyptian civilization.

In fact, bees have a well-earned reputation as nature's healers. They also produce propolis, which is the key ingredient Herstat uses in its cold sore ointment. Proven to heal cold sores faster than similar products in clinical trials, Herstat uses the best of the bees to provide sufferers with the best cold sore remedy.

Vitamins - the best cold sore treatment plan?

Although clinical trials have proven Herstat to be one of the best cold sore treatments available, the truth is that our customers would prefer to not have to rely on any form of treatment at all; as we all know, prevention is always a better option than cure.

Fortunately, there are some steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of a cold sore outbreak, and although those listed below are not foolproof, they will at least help cold sore sufferers take some level of control over the virus.

Vitamin A

Many dermatologists recommend Vitamin A for the full spectrum of skin conditions, ranging from premature ageing to acne. Not only does it promote skin cell renewal, it is also thought by some to reduce post-outbreak infection rates.

However, a Vitamin A overdose can cause a toxic reaction, so supplements should only be taken on the advice of a specialist. Good natural sources of Vitamin A include carrots, swede, squash, sweet potatoes, dried apricots and parsley.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is sometimes known as the "immune support vitamin". This is because a number of studies have indicated that it may have a major role to play in strengthening the body's support against a range of illnesses and health conditions, while others have shown that Vitamin D deficiency increases a person's risk of developing herpetic sores.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 has a reputation as the "healing vitamin". It can be a good idea to eat plenty of Vitamin B6-rich whole grains, garlic, mushrooms and green leafy vegetables after a cold sore in order to reduce the chances of a dispiriting "follow-up outbreak".

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is implicated in effective immune system response. Not only does it increase white blood cell numbers, it's also easy to find in food sources, from oily fish to avocadoes, nuts and broccoli.

Vitamin C

How often have we been told to eat up our oranges so that we get enough Vitamin C in order to ensure our immune systems are ready to fight off any winter bug or virus that comes our way?

What is less well-known is how useful Vitamin C is in warding off the herpes virus. Vitamin C has well-documented antiviral qualities and it is thought that becoming deficient in this vitamin can lead to increased risk of an unsightly outbreak.

Although Vitamin C supplements may be right for some people, a balanced and varied died full of fresh fruit and vegetables should be enough for most. Green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, berries and even the humble potato are all good sources of Vitamin C.

Conclusion

For those who are deficient in particular vitamins or who are looking for a short-term boost to their vitamin levels, supplements of the above vitamins can help protect against the need to reach for a tube of Herstat; for others simply eating a balanced and varied diet that is full of vitamins A, B6, E, C and D can help prevent the cold sore virus. Vitamins, they may just be the best cold sore treatment plan.

Cold sore cure hope is realistic

Finding a real cold sore cure: it is one of the pharmaceutical industry's holy grails and for much of human history has seemed an impossibility.

But now, thanks to work by scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, it may be an impending reality.

News of the research, which was published in the journal JCI Insight, says that by using DNA-interfering enzymes called targeted endonucleases, it may be possible to disable the herpes simplex virus when it is at its latent stage.

And although the research has so far only been carried out on mice, it is thought that it could be the first stage in achieving a cold sore cure, which would be welcome news the more than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 – 67% of the population – who, according to the World Health Organisation, are infected with the herpes simplex virus.

The study, claims its lead author, Dr. Keith Jerome, "lays out the pathway toward a potential cure for human herpes virus infections" by using DNA-cutting to disable the virus's ability to replicate.

However, the technique is yet to be tested on humans and it is thought it could be several years before it reaches this research stage, although the research team admit that this is the goal. "We can take these targeted endonucleases, we can introduce them into a mouse that has a latent herpes infection, we can get them to where the virus lies dormant and we can successfully attack that virus in its dormant state," said Dr. Jerome. "The process can work."

A cold sore cure would not simply be about improving the sense of wellbeing of those who suffer from strains of HSV; the virus can also be deadly, particularly among new-born children, who contract it without having developed any immunity.

Treating cold sores with natural remedies

AccupunctureYou have doubtless arrived here because you are wondering how to treat a cold sore in the most effective way possible.

We can only say, "well done" because you have arrived in the right place; Herstat has been clinically proven to be more effective than other cold sore remedies. In fact, Herstat has been proven to clear up cold sores 3.53 days faster than a placebo, with nearly 94% of those who took part in a trial saying they would use it again.

This is in contrast to clinical trials of other products that are advertised as being cold sore treatments; with most healing cold sores only a single day faster than the placebo – it is easy to see why Herstat is increasingly recognised as an effective answer for those who are looking for advice on how to treat a cold sore.

A natural remedy

But the best news? The active ingredient in Herstat is Propolis, which, because it is made by honeybees from plant resins, is natural.

In fact, the antiviral and antibacterial properties of Propolis are not recent discoveries; the Ancient Greeks and Ancient Egyptians were using the substance as long ago as 300 BC, with Hippocrates (460 BC-377 BC), the father of modern medicine, a known proponent of its benefits.

Other natural ways to treat a cold sore

Curcumin, a component in the Asian spice / root vegetable turmeric, has been shown by some studies to have real efficacy in fighting viral infections.

This is unlikely to come as any surprise to the peoples of South East Asia and India who refer to turmeric as "holy dust" and have been using it as a natural remedy for more than 2,500 years.

Although modern medicine's understanding of turmeric is only at the early stages, scientists have shown that the antiviral properties of curcumin can be effective in keeping patients virus-free.

For example, the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents has reported a curcumin-based cream to be effective in helping to prevent HIV-1 from entering human cells.

But the study that really got us interested was carried out by B. Kutluay Sebia and colleagues at Michigan State University and then reported in the journal Virology. It stated that in the laboratory setting curcumin had been shown to significantly inhibit replication of the herpes simplex virus.

So, if you're looking to treat your cold sore as quickly as possible why not try a combination of topical application of Herstat combined with an oral Turmeric supplement – it might just help!

Don't let cold sores ruin your summer

The sun has finally come out again, and while we Brits usually have only a small window of opportunity to enjoy it, it is important for people to not rush out without first applying the proper protection, especially when they suffer from cold sores.

You will surely have heard how unhealthy, and even downright dangerous, too much sun exposure can be for your skin, but did you know that the UV rays have been directly linked to causing a cold sore outbreak?

Even though everyone deserves their day in the sun, it's a good idea to keep a tab on exactly how much time you're spending under its warming glow. And, if you're someone who particularly loathes those occasions when the HSV-1 virus manifests itself as a painful, embarrassing blister on your face, you might want to reconsider how much it's really worth getting that tan when you know it's going to directly affect your ability to keep the virus at bay.

Why does it happen?

While a small amount of UV radiation is thought to be beneficial as it is a good source of vitamin D, too much of it is very harmful to the body. UV rays hinder the immune system, which encourages viruses to take over, making you more likely to have an outbreak.

What to do

So, you know why you should avoid too much sunlight, but what about how? There are some procedures that are common knowledge to almost everybody who is even slightly health conscious, but a refresher never hurt anyone, did it? Also, there are other precautions that cold sore sufferers can take in addition to the general sun protection routine for added resistance.

Here are some helpful guidelines on sun exposure you should follow, not just to help prevent cold sores but to reduce the risk of suffering other damages to the skin as well.

  • Use a lip balm that protects against UV rays (we recommend our very own LipCare stick.
  • Apply sunscreen of at least SPF 15 to your face, especially around your lips
  • You should be reapplying sunscreen every two hours
  • Wear a wide-brimmed sun hat to keep your face in the shade (sunglasses with UV absorption lenses wouldn't go amiss either).
  • Try to avoid being in the sun between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM as this is when it's as its most intense.

If you enjoy the sunshine in moderation and ensure that you are thoroughly protected during the time you're outside, you will dramatically increase your odds of staying cold sore-free this summer.

Cold sore virus harder to shake than previously thought

A lot of people are of the belief that once they have undertaken their treatment for cold sores and the blemishes are beginning to become less conspicuous, they are able to relax and worry less about passing on the virus to other people, whether by sharing cups and cutlery, or through kissing.

Nerves

However, a new piece of research by Australian National University (ANU) has revealed that the herpes simplex (HSV-1) virus may actually be contagious up to 10 days following infection, meaning that even once you have finished your course of cold sore treatment you may have to continue taking precautions.

Details of the Australian study, which were published in the journal PLOS Pathogens, show how the "damaging genes" of the virus spread throughout the nervous system and are able to begin further infection even after blisters have faded.

"The traditional view of viral latency, and particularly in the case of HSV-1, is that the virus is either active or not active and there's not much in-between," commented Professor David Tscharke from the Department of Immunology and Infectious Disease at the ANU's John Curtin School of Medical Research.

"But now we know that the HSV-1 virus is still spreading in the nervous system at a time that most people thought the acute phase was over. So you might think that once the physical cold sore has gone, you are well and that the virus is entirely beaten but your immune system is still fighting it for you."

The revelation, which was achieved as a result of tests on mice, means that we now know that the herpes virus lasts for twice as long as previously thought. "You can't see it [on the body] but the virus is still spreading underground," said the scientists.

It also helps explain why so many people are prone to recurrent infections; if the immune system becomes low after symptoms have gone and cold sore treatment has been taken, sufferers may find themselves prone to a second outbreak.

Making changes to your lifestyle choices can be a good way to tackle the virus and therefore reduce the need for aggressive treatment for cold sores.

DNA treatment breakthrough but cold sore creams still the best

Herstat may be clinically proven to be one of the best cold sore creams on the market but even we look forward to the day when the herpes virus that is responsible for so many unsightly and uncomfortable blemishes is eradicated altogether.

And this is not only for cosmetic reasons; the cold sore virus is responsible for many serious illnesses, from shingles and blindness to brain injury, glandular fever, birth defects and even some types of cancers – only now is it become clear how many serious health conditions the cold sore virus is implicated in.

DNA helix

This is why we are pleased to hear news from scientists at the University Medical Centre in Utrecht, the Netherlands, that gene therapy has the potential to expunge the herpes virus from the individual human body.

By using CRISPR, a "gene-editing technique", scientists are able cut DNA at particular points in a sequence. This may be able to permanently disable dormant viruses, leaving them unable to repair. However, getting the technique right is easier said than done; cutting DNA sequences can result in errors or unhelpful mutations in genetic code.

So far there has been some success. Scientists have found that by cutting DNA from one particular type of herpes virus they were able to reduce viral activity by half; cuts in two locations resulted in 95 per cent of dormant viruses being eliminated.

"We could efficiently remove the latent genome from infected cells, essentially curing cells from their invader," said one of the scientists.

It is also worth noting that the scientists have so far been less successful in gene editing the virus responsible for cold sores, meaning that sufferers may still be searching for the best cold sore cream on the market for some years yet!

NHS should take note of cold sore treatment

One of Britain's most inspirational business leaders, Sir Michael Lockett, who was a key figure in both the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee river pageant, has revealed that he has a revolutionary cold sore treatment to thank for the curing of his neck and head cancers.

London Tower Bridge

Although the cold sore treatment was only at its trial stages when Lockett was first placed on it in 2009, his doctors have now given him the news he has been longing to hear: his cancer appears to be cured.

The cold sore-based cancer treatment is truly a medical marvel. It takes the form of a drug, Imlygic, which is comprised of a genetically modified version of the herpes virus to stimulate the immune system into targeting tumours that were previously thought to be inoperable. Lockett's cancer was resistant to both radiotherapy and chemotherapy, a situation which led him to contact scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research in the hope of being included in the early cold sore treatment trial.

It is a sad addendum then that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has so far failed to give approval to the drug for the treatment of some aggressive cancers – a situation many campaigners have branded "unacceptable".

The treatment is incredibly sophisticated. The modified herpes virus avoids healthy cells and instead targets cancer cells where it then multiplies, causing them to rupture and provoking a natural immune response.

"The herpes virus appears to be a very powerful killer of cancer," commented Professor Kevin Harrington from the Royal Marsden Hospital