Cold Sores

How to feel confident when you suffer from cold sores

min read
How to feel confident when you suffer from cold sores How to feel confident when you suffer from cold sores How to feel confident when you suffer from cold sores

Oh, no. Not again! Date tomorrow? Birthday next week? Off on holiday soon? Job interview on Monday? Whatever the event may be, the initial tingle of a cold sore can be deeply distressing. Why is it they always seem to pop up at the worst times?!

First things first, take a deep breath. Cold sores are one of those things, lots of people get them and they needn’t disrupt your life. If you’re feeling a little low as a consequence of a flare-up, there are lots of things you can do to boost your confidence.

First, you are not alone!

Did you know that the virus that causes them (HSV-1) is carried by an estimated 67% of the global population? That’s more than 3.5 billion people! In the UK alone, one in five people has recurring cold sores. What we’re trying to say is that cold sores are extremely common. While your friends and family might not have one while you do, that’s not to say they don’t know what you’re experiencing.

Get moving

Exercise is proven to reduce anxiety and negative moods and is a great means of alleviating low self-esteem and social withdrawal. Whether you do a workout in your living room, head to the park for a jog, cycle or a walk or take on a session in the gym, by getting moving you’ll be stimulating endorphins which activate the part of your brain that releases dopamine; a feel-good chemical that can help with pain and stress. You’ll also be keeping yourself away from the mirror and the temptation to agonise over whatever stage your cold sore happens to be in.

Self-care time!

Cold sores can be triggered by many factors, including stress. If you frame your cold sore as a reminder from your body to look after yourself, then it’s the perfect excuse to indulge in some pampering. Everyone is different and you’ll know what best works for you, but eating healthily and sleeping well are habits we should all be trying to maintain. Calming activities like meditation, yoga and massage can bring a new perspective after a hard day and there’s always retail therapy or beauty treatments if you fancy a quick pick-me-up.

Diversion tactics

It’s perfectly understandable to feel self-conscious when you have a cold sore. Even though it’s definitely not the case, it can feel like the whole world is staring at your lip and you, therefore, want to hide away. Sometimes, the best form of defence is attack. Put yourself on the front foot by creating a separate talking point by drawing attention to other parts of the body with bold clothing and statement accessories, use makeup to accentuate your eyes or try a new hairstyle.

The trusty old face mask

If you genuinely can’t bear the idea of having your cold sore on show in public, that’s completely fine. You always have the option of covering it up. Since Covid-19 came to the fore, face masks have become an everyday part of life with many people continuing to use them daily whenever they are on public transport, in the office or shopping. Nobody will bat an eyelid if you choose to follow their lead. If your face mask is reusable, just make sure to wash it regularly.

Cold sore patches

More subtle than a face mask, Compeed Discreet Cold Sore Healing Patches are used by many to reduce social embarrassment and to help accelerate the healing process. Featuring hydrocolloid technology, they can be applied over a cold sore at the first tingle, reduce scabbing and create a virus shield to minimise the risk of contamination. Designed to stay in place for 12 hours, they can even be used in conjunction with makeup.

Colour correct with make-up

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Cold Sores

Wearing makeup when you have a cold sore – handy tips to remember

Before you reach for the concealer and foundation, it’s important to note what stage of healing your cold sore is at. If the cold sore has just recently appeared, they are typically open and it is not advised to use makeup as it could lead to an infection. In such instances, if you’re not using Compeed cold sore patches, it is advised that you wait for it to scab over first. Remember that cold sores are contagious, so you should wash your hands before and after applying makeup and always be wary of the danger of contaminating your products. Do not double-dip your concealer or use lipstick straight from the tube. It’s better to use disposable sponges and cotton swabs to apply products. These can then be thrown away after each use. We have more tips on wearing makeup when you have cold sores in our previous article, so be sure to give it a read!

In terms of what makeup to use, a thick creamy concealer that provides heavy coverage is a good shout. Cold sores, when healing, are pretty dry, so putting something thick and creamy on top will help counteract the dryness and ensure long-lasting coverage. You can also buy some colour correctors, specifically yellow or green, which will reduce the appearance of redness around the cold sore.

Finally, focus on what is important

Your cold sore is not important and having a flare-up is not the end of the world. What is important is remembering how great you are and that your cold sore will pass and you’ll feel back to your best soon. If you’re struggling to see the bright side of things, try writing down five things that you are grateful for. This will help shift your perspective and keep you positive.

That date you have tomorrow, your birthday next week, an upcoming holiday or a job interview on Monday are what’s important. Not the tiny little thing on the corner of your lips…