Once a year | Twice a year | Four times a year | Once a month | Irregular | Don’t know

Once a year

Are you aware of things that may cause this?


As well as the common causes, some people notice all sorts of other things can trigger their cold sore episodes.

Try to identify what may trigger your cold sore and when these occasions cannot be avoided, prepare to start treatment at the tingle with Zovirax antiviral cream.


There are many cold sore triggers. However, since you don't get them very often, it could possibly be that your cold sores are due to colds or flu.

Many people like you notice that when they are run down with a cold they can often develop a cold sores at the same time.

When we understand how the virus that causes cold sores works, it is not surprising that it takes advantage of your run-down situation and springs into action. So when stocking up with cold and flu treatments it may be a good idea to buy your Zovirax antiviral cream as well so that you can start treatment at the first sign of a tingle.

Twice a year

Your cold sores could be due to 'seasonal' triggers

For example, do you wear a scarf when you go out in the cold wind ?
When exposed to sunlight do you use a good lip balm with added UV protection?

Many people notice that cold sores come on when they are exposed to strong sunlight whilst on skiing or beach holidays. A really effective sunscreen can be very useful. The zinc oxide based ones are probably the most effective physical sunscreens, as they block out both UVA and UVB rays, and nowadays can be much more cosmetically acceptable. However, remember to take your Zovirax antiviral cream with you on holiday just in case.

Four times a year

This is more than the average of 2 cold sores a year.

Ask yourself whether they occur during very busy periods in your life?

If the answer is yes, then they could be triggered by your stress levels.

There are certain renowned events in one's life that are particularly stressful, such as moving house, getting married, deaths and changing jobs. Any one of these could lower your immune system making you prone to a cold sore.

Many people attribute outbreaks of cold sores to periods of stress. While it is easy to blame stress for all types of illnesses it is not so easy to find ways to avoid it. There is no doubt that people who are physically and mentally in top form are in a much better position to keep the virus at bay. If you recognise stress as a trigger of your cold sores then maybe this can act as an incentive to improve your way of living in order to reduce it.

Once a month

For men

Shaving, hot drinks, exposure to cold

It seems that damage or physical trauma around the mouth, such as burning lips with a hot drink, may lead to inflammation which may stimulate the virus into action. If you want to reduce the number of cold sore episodes, you could start by taking care around your lips.

For women

Menstruation (periods)

Some women notice that the cold sore virus can spring into action around the time of their monthly periods. If you think you are one of these people, then at least you can predict when this will be and be in a position to start using your Zovirax antiviral cream to treat at the first signs of a cold sore.


Your cold sores can be triggered by a number of everyday events including shaving, exposure to cold temperatures, drinking hot drinks and general damage to the lip area.

It seems that anything that damage to the area around the mouth, such as burning caused by drinking hot drinks, may lead to inflammation, which may stimulate the cold sore virus.

If you want to reduce the number of cold sore episodes, you may need to take more care than most people with the area around your lips. Keeping your Zovirax antiviral cream nearby may also be useful, so that any unexpected cold sores can be treated as soon as possible.

Don't Know

So your cold sores can come at any time without warning?

This is unusual as most people tend to identify the onset of an episode to something such as stress, sunlight, periods, exposure to cold temperatures and so on.

If you think that any of these in particular may bring on your cold sores then see our section on triggers.

However, if you really feel that you get no warning of an impending attack then you may find it useful to always keep your Zovirax antiviral cream handy, so that you can start treatment as soon as possible.