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Cold Weather Brings Cold Sores

Wintry weather can be a top trigger for cold sores.

Wintry weather can be a top trigger for cold sores.

Statistics show that up to 40 percent of Americans have experienced a cold store at some point. As temperatures continue to drop here in New Jersey, the risk rises.

Cold sores essentially are a type of herpes known as the herpes simplex virus-1, or HSV-1. Statistics from the US National Institutes of Health show that HSV-1 infects more than half of the nation’s population by the time they reach their 20s. Mayo Clinic research backs up that figure, estimating that upwards of 90 percent of Americans test positive for the virus, even if they’ve never experienced infection symptoms.

Also called fever blisters, cold sores manifest as fluid-filled lesions that appear on or around the lips. They’re highly contagious and there is no cure for the herpes virus. Once it enters your body, it’s there to stay. However, symptoms like cold sores can be prevented and managed.

Cold sores are most common during the winter months for multiple reasons:

  • Exposure to cold temperatures, as well as the significant temperature shifts experienced when moving in and out of warm buildings, can reactivate the HSV-1 virus and trigger a cold sore.
  • Harsh winds sap the moisture out of your lips, making them more prone to the virus.
  • Staying inside can lead to a drop in Vitamin D levels in the body, weakening its immune system.
  • Illnesses common during the colder months including colds, flus and bacterial infections, as well as the sheer stress of holiday goings on, can make the body more prone to a cold sore outbreak.
  • Inflammation that comes with conditions like chronic arthritis can jumpstart the body’s production of the stress hormone cortisol, which can suppress the immune system.
  • Cold weather always corresponds with a boost in tanning salon visits. Those artificial UV rays can irritate tissues around the mouth, making the skin more susceptible to a cold store outbreak.

If you’ve suffered a cold sore once, you run the chance of experiencing another. Keep your lips and facial skin moisturized and learn to better manage your stress. And, if you fee one coming on, head to your nearest Metropolitan Dermatology location in Clark, Kearny or Teaneck.

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Cosmetic, Medical & Surgical Dermatology

Metropolitan Dermatology Locations

1075 Central Avenue
Clark, NJ 07066
Clark NJ location servicing Edison, Westfield, Elizabeth, Linden, Scotch Plains, & Cranford, NJ

757 Teaneck Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666
Teaneck NJ location servicing Hackensack, Fort Lee, Fair Lawn, Englewood, and Bergenfield, NJ.

703 Kearny Ave.
Kearny, NJ 07032
Kearny NJ location servicing Jersey City, Nutley, North Arlington, Lyndhurst, and Hoboken, NJ. *Formerly 752 Kearny

1324 Victory Boulevard
Staten Island, NY 10301
Staten Island NY location servicing all of New York City!

3202 John F Kennedy Blvd.
Jersey City, NJ 07306
Jersey City, NJ location servicing Jersey City and Newark.

114 Lakeview Avenue
South Plainfield, NJ 07080
South Plainfield, NJ location servicing Plainfield and Edison.

449 60th St.
West New York, NJ 07093
West New York NJ location servicing Union City, Bayonne, North Bergen, Hoboken, & Secaucus NJ

469 Morris Ave. Ste 2
Elizabeth, NJ 07208
Elizabeth, NJ location servicing Elizabeth, Linden, Roselle Park and Hillside.

622 Boulevard
Kenilworth, NJ 07033
Kenilworth, NJ location servicing Springfield Township, Union, and Mountainside.