Cold sore triggers & prevention

The best way to deal with cold sores is to manage your triggers

Even if you have one or multiple cold sore triggers, these tend to fall within a few similar categories. Many of these suppress your immune system or cause damage to the mouth and allow the virus to attack.

By understanding what triggers your cold sores, you can proactively take charge and defend yourself against future outbreaks.

Cold weather

Winter is your cold sore season. Protect yourself from the elements. Wear a scarf or pull up that turtleneck to avoid exposure to cold weather, dry air and winter wind that can dry out lips. Use lip protectant to ensure your lips are moisturized.

How to put the freeze on cold sores

Sunlight exposure

Summertime is cold sore time for you. Go on the offensive against sun exposure. Not only can ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun damage your skin, but sun exposure can also trigger cold sores. So fight back by using lip balm with SPF, wearing a wide-brimmed hat, and using a beach umbrella.

How to stay cold sore free this summer


Be sure to keep your stress level in check. Stress messes with emotions and can also wear down your immune system, giving that dormant cold sore a chance to launch a sneak attack. Fight the urge to stress out. Instead, breathe deeply and relax.

Learn how to keep stress in check

Dental trauma

Some dental procedures can pull at the sensitive area around your mouth, causing trauma to your mouth or lips that can launch a cold sore outbreak. If this is one of your triggers, make your dentist an ally and join forces to minimize trauma.

Discover the link between dental work and cold sores


Your lack of sleep may be triggering your cold sore. In today’s hectic world, feeling “beat” can give cold sores the advantage. So relax. Exercise. And most of all, sleep. A good night’s rest can recharge your immune system and help protect you from the virus.

Want to get a good night’s sleep?

Under the weather

A fever, a cold or the flu can leave you feeling run-down and on the defense against a cold sore outbreak. When you feel a cold, fever or the flu coming on, listen to the experts and get plenty of rest and fluids. It could be just what you need to knock out a cold sore.

Want to give your immune system a boost?

Hormonal changes

For women, hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle can trigger an outbreak. Pay attention to your own hormonal cycle and watch for signs of a cold sore so you can treat it early.

Learn more about hormonal changes

Target your triggers

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How to Prevent Cold Sores in the Winter | Zovirax AU

Cold weather and winter wind can dry out lips, leaving them vulnerable to cold sore outbreaks. Learn how to minimise the risk of a cold sore with Zovirax today.

Can You Get a Cold Sore in the Summer? | Zovirax AU

UV rays can damage your skin and trigger a recurrent cold sore. Follow these tips from Zovirax to stay sun-safe and prevent cold sores this summer.

Manage Fatigue to Relieve Stress & Prevent Cold Sores | Zovirax AU

Fatigue can zap your immune system, leaving you prone to a cold sore outbreak. Follow these tips to manage fatigue from Zovirax today.

Exercise to Relieve Stress & Prevent Cold Sores | Zovirax AU

Exercise is a proven stressbuster and therefore a good way to prevent cold sores. Get active with these tips from Zovirax today.

Alleviate Stress - Cold Sore Prevention | Zovirax AU

Stress can be a cold sore trigger but there are many ways to relieve stress. Learn how to exercise your mind to alleviate stress with Zovirax today.

Relaxation Techniques to Relieve Stress & Prevent Cold Sores | Zovirax AU

Stress can wear down your immune system and cause cold sores. Try these relaxation techniques to alleviate stress with Zovirax today.

Face Your Finances to Prevent Cold Sores - Zovirax AU Australia

Money is one of the top causes of stress, and stress is a known cold sore trigger. Get on top of your finances with these tips from Zovirax today.

Can You Get A Cold Sore From Being Sick Or Sad? | Zovirax AU

Cold sores often happen when we're feeling down. Learn how to take care of yourself during tough life moments and avoid cold sores with Zovirax today.

Manage Stress at Work & Prevent Cold Sores | Zovirax AU

Work can be a top cause of stress in our lives. Learn how to keep work challenges in perspective to prevent cold sores with Zovirax today.

Plan Ahead to Relieve Stress & Prevent Cold Sores | Zovirax AU

Got a big day coming up? It's important to plan ahead to manage stress and prevent cold sores. Follow our tips to keep organised and stress-free. Visit Zovirax today.

Visiting the Dentist With A Cold Sore | Zovirax AU

Will the dentist treat you with a cold sore? Zovirax provides tips on how to manage cold sores for your dentist appointment. Visit today.

Diet to Achieve Luscious Lips | Zovirax AU

Certain vitamin and mineral-rich foods can do wonders from promoting lip health. Get luscious lips with these tips from Zovirax today.

Cold And Flu & Cold Sore Prevention | Zovirax AU

A cold or flu can compromise the immune system, leaving you more susceptible to a cold sore outbreak. Learn steps to help avoid an outbreak with Zovirax.

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