If you have any questions about cold sores or Herstat, then they might be answered here. Alternatively, if your query is not mentioned in this list, please ask a member of our experienced team for further details.
Questions about cold sores
What is a cold sore?
A cold sore is a small skin lesion caused by the herpes simplex virus. The scientific name is "herpes labialis", as most of the time it affects the skin around and on the border of the lips. If you're unfortunate enough to get recurring cold sores then it's likely that you can recognize when an outbreak is about to occur.
Caused by the herpes simplex virus, initial symptoms will often result in you feeling a burning or itching sensation around your mouth and, unfortunately, small blisters normally then develop. Although these blisters should eventually disappear without medical intervention, their effects can last for a week or more, which might make you feel like hiding away until they've completely gone.
How do cold sores develop?
Cold sores are caused by the transference of the herpes simplex virus from an infected person to an uninfected person, for example, by kissing someone who is suffering from an outbreak.
Once a person has been infected, the virus remains in the body. Some people will never experience the symptoms of cold sores, but others will suffer from recurring outbreaks.
The NHS in England has listed several factors which make sufferers more prone to experiencing an outbreak, such as fatigue, stress, or emotional distress. These are all factors that reduce the individual's immune defenses and allow the dormant virus to wake up.
How long do cold sores usually last?
Cases vary but you should see your symptoms disappear in around twelve days or longer if you experience a particularly severe episode.
However, an untreated cold sore can last significantly longer in some cases. The duration depends on several factors, such as the size of the lesion, the health of the immune system, the quantity of virus and whether an effective product is used to help the body deal with the episode.
Is there a cure for cold sores?
Sadly, no. However, there are a number of solutions that can help relieve the symptoms – such as Herstat Lip Care Ointment. A moisturizing ointment may help alleviate symptoms such as dry, chapped lips and can provide a conducive environment for a cold sore to heal effectively.
Can I prevent cold sores from occurring?
About 80 to 90% of the population are exposed to the herpes simplex virus during childhood and therefore carry the virus. But of these, only 20% or so report having outbreaks of cold sores.
If you are among those who experience recurrent outbreaks, you can follow several preventative measures to reduce your chances of developing a cold sore. For example, some methods suggested by the NHS in England include:
- Remembering what it is that usually triggers your cold sores – such as stressful events – and attempting to avoid these situations.
- Covering up and using sunscreens as an effective deterrent. Many cold sore sufferers report that exposure to strong sunlight is a potent trigger.
- Not touching your own or another person's cold sores. If this is unavoidable, you should thoroughly wash your hands after coming into contact with the affected area.
- Refraining from sharing items that you've used, such as toothbrushes, towels, washcloths and makeup, as this could result in the virus spreading.
Questions about Herstat.
What is Herstat?
Herstat is a lip protectant and is designed to help relieve some of the symptoms of cold sores and to help prevent dry, sore, and cracked lips. You can apply Herstat Lip Care Ointment at any stage of an outbreak and it helps provide a moist environment which is perfect for healing. Herstat uses propolis as a preservative, so it doesn't include parabens, and it smells and tastes great.
How long does it take for Herstat to start working?
Herstat can provide relief from the symptoms of cold sores, such as dry, sore, and cracked lips, and will get to work immediately. You could see your general symptoms improve within a matter of days. Herstat works best when applied regularly, as directed. In a study, the participants who applied Herstat reported improvement in their symptoms in approximately six days.
Can I use Herstat if I'm allergic to bees or bee products?
We recommend that you don't use Herstat if you are allergic to bee products such as honey or Royal Jelly. As Herstat contains propolis, it may result in an adverse reaction if you're allergic to bees or beehive products. That is why, in the instructions, we recommend you carry out a skin patch test before use. This means that if you are unsure if you are allergic to bee products, you should apply a small quantity of Herstat on the skin of your forearm and check for possible skin reactions.
The propolis used in Herstat is highly purified and fully tested so that the final product is free from impurities such as heavy metals, pesticides, and any other contamination. However, we advise that you still undertake a patch test before you begin using our ointment.
How should I use Herstat?
Herstat works best when applied often: every two hours and at least five times per day.