How Vitamin Deficiencies Can Lead to Cold Sores 

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Have you ever been curious as to why some people frequently get cold sores while others never do? In some cases, the cause may be vitamin deficiencies!

A lack of certain vitamins and minerals in our bodies can impact how susceptible we are to fever blisters or other kinds of herpes.

Let’s take a closer look at which vitamins are essential for preventing cold sores, including supplements for cold sores too! 

Vitamin B-12

Vitamin B-12 is known for its role in helping with red blood cell production and DNA synthesis, but it also plays an important role in preventing cold sores.

Studies have shown that low levels of Vitamin B-12 can increase the recurrence rate of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections, including cold sores. Although the evidence is still inconclusive, some experts believe that taking extra Vitamin B-12 could reduce HSV outbreaks. 

Zinc

A deficiency in zinc has also been linked to cold sores. Zinc helps with many bodily functions, including regulating hormones and maintaining a healthy immune system. Research suggests that having a zinc deficiency can make individuals more vulnerable to HSV infections by weakening their immune systems. Additionally, zinc can help heal existing cold sores faster by reducing inflammation and irritation on the affected area.  

Folate

Lastly, folate is another important vitamin when it comes to preventing cold sores. Folate helps your body produce healthy new cells and repair damaged ones, which makes it critical for fighting off infections like HSV-1 or 2. Studies have found that people who have lower levels of folate tend to experience more frequent episodes of oral herpes than those who have normal levels of folate in their bodies. 

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation and prevent further damage to the affected area. It also helps strengthen the immune system, which can be beneficial in preventing cold sores from forming. Additionally, Vitamin E has been shown to reduce the severity of outbreaks when taken regularly. 

Please know that genital herpes is a different type of viral infection that is different from the normal oral herpes outbreaks, and we do not cover this type of outbreak in this article.

What are cold sores?

Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are small clusters of fluid-filled blisters that usually appear around the lips or face. They can be painful and may be accompanied by itching, burning, or tingling.

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) and tend to occur during times of stress or when immunity is low.

Treatment for cold sores typically involves topical creams or ointments as well as antiviral drugs. In addition, avoiding triggers such as direct sunlight or wind can help reduce the occurrence of outbreaks.

What causes cold sores?

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Other possible causes include:

• Stress or fatigue, which can weaken the immune system and make it easier for HSV to take hold

• Exposure to direct sunlight or wind, which can irritate the skin and cause an outbreak

• Hormonal changes during menstruation or pregnancy, which affects immunity levels

• A weakened immune system due to diseases such as HIV/AIDS or cancer

• Skin damage from biting lips, licking them, or placing food too close to the lips

• Sharing lipstick, lip balm, toothbrushes, utensils, drinks, etc. with someone who has HSV.

Are cold sores linked to vitamin deficiencies?

While there is not yet sufficient scientific evidence to conclusively prove that cold sores are caused by vitamin deficiencies, some studies have suggested that a vitamin deficiency may increase the risk of developing cold sores.

For example, low levels of B vitamins, especially B12 and folic acid, have been associated with increased severity and frequency of outbreaks.

Additionally, maintaining a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can help ensure adequate intake of essential vitamins and minerals which may help prevent the development of cold sores.

What vitamin am I most likely lacking if I get cold sores?

While there is no single vitamin that has been proven to cause cold sores, research suggests that a deficiency in certain vitamins may increase the risk.

These include B vitamins such as B12 and folic acid, as well as Vitamin E and zinc.

If you are experiencing frequent or severe outbreaks of cold sores, it may be worth considering having your levels of these vital nutrients tested to ensure adequate intake.

Additionally, eating a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can help ensure adequate intake of essential vitamins and minerals which may help prevent the development of cold sores.

How much vitamin C should I take for cold sores?

It is not necessary to take extra vitamin C specifically for cold sores as it is already found in a balanced diet. However, if you are suffering from recurring or severe outbreaks of cold sores, additional supplementation with Vitamin C may help reduce the frequency and severity of your symptoms. The recommended daily amount is between 75-90mg per day.

What is the best vitamin for cold sores?

There is no single “best” vitamin for cold sores, as a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can help ensure adequate intake of essential vitamins and minerals which may help prevent the development of cold sores.

However, some research suggests that B vitamins such as B12 and folic acid, as well as Vitamin E and zinc may help reduce the frequency and severity of outbreaks.

Additionally, taking Vitamin C supplements has also been suggested to help reduce the frequency and severity of cold sores.

As with any supplementation, it is best to consult a healthcare professional before beginning any new regimen.

What gets rid of cold sores overnight?

Unfortunately, there is no known remedy to get rid of cold sores overnight.

However, treatment typically consists of topical creams or ointments as well as antiviral drugs.

  • Additionally, avoiding triggers such as direct sunlight or wind can help reduce the occurrence of outbreaks.
  • If you are experiencing frequent or severe outbreaks of cold sores, it may be worth considering having your levels of essential nutrients tested to ensure adequate intake as well.
  • Finally, eating a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can help ensure adequate intake of vitamins and minerals which may also help prevent the development of cold sores.

What oil is best for cold sores?

Tea tree oil has been known to help reduce the severity of cold sores when applied topically. Additionally, coconut oil and olive oil have also been suggested as natural remedies to treat cold sores.

How do you dry out a cold sore overnight?

Unfortunately, drying out a cold sore overnight is not possible. However, there are several ways to help reduce the healing time of cold sores.

  • Keeping the affected area clean and dry is essential for preventing secondary bacterial infections and promoting faster healing.
  • Additionally, applying an antiviral cream or ointment at the first sign of a cold sore can help reduce the severity and duration of the outbreak.
  • You may also want to try lemon balm when a cold sore appears initially
  • Finally, avoiding triggers such as direct sunlight or wind can help prevent further outbreaks.

What should you not put on a cold sore?

  • It is best to avoid applying any harsh chemicals or abrasive materials to the affected area.
  • Citrus fruits and juices, as well as menthol and camphor products can irritate the sore and cause further inflammation.
  • Additionally, it is best to avoid applying petroleum jelly or other oil-based products as this may trap moisture in the affected area and worsen symptoms.
  • Any medications or creams for treating other skin conditions should also be avoided unless prescribed by a doctor.
  • Some people may also be sensitive to certain essential oils, so it is best to conduct a patch test prior to application.
  • Some of the other items that should not be applied to cold sores include rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide as they can cause further irritation and delay healing.

If you are unsure about what to apply to the affected area, it is best to consult a healthcare professional for advice.

Can I put vitamin E oil on cold sore?

Yes, Vitamin E oil can be applied to a cold sore. Vitamin E is known for its anti-inflammatory and healing properties, which may help reduce the severity of symptoms such as redness or itching.

Additionally, some research suggests that taking Vitamin E supplements may also help reduce the frequency and severity of outbreaks.

Can cold sores be prevented?

Yes, there are several ways to help prevent the occurrence of cold sores.

  • Avoiding triggers such as direct sunlight or wind can help reduce the occurrence of outbreaks.
  • Additionally, eating well balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can help ensure adequate intake of vitamins and minerals which may also help prevent the development of cold sores.
  • If you get lots of herpes infections you may want to consider how many people you are kissing!
  • Finally, using protective lip balm that contains SPF when outdoors can also help reduce sun exposure and its associated symptoms including cold sores.

However, preventing the herpes virus is notoriously tough if you don’t get enough sleep and share drinks with many people.

What is the best supplement to prevent cold sores?

Lysine supplements are often suggested as a way to help prevent the occurrence of cold sores. Lysine is an essential amino acid that has been found to inhibit the growth of herpes simplex virus type, which is the primary cause of a herpes outbreak.

Additionally, many people find relief from taking Vitamin C and Zinc supplements as they are believed to have antiviral properties.

Cold Sores Vitamin Deficiency Conclusion

Ultimately, getting enough vitamins and minerals through diet or supplementation is essential for keeping our bodies strong and healthy so they can fight off viruses like HSV quickly and effectively.

Moreover, if you already suffer from regular fever blisters or other forms of herpes simplex virus infection (HSVI), then making sure your body has enough Vitamin B-12, zinc, and folate could potentially reduce the frequency of these cold sore outbreaks!

If you think you might be deficient in any these nutrients due to dietary restrictions or poor health habits, we recommend consulting with a doctor before beginning any supplementation program to manage herpes viruses.

That way you can make sure your body gets all the nutrients it needs without taking too much!

About the Author

Jared Levenson is a former binge eating wrestler turned Zen Buddhist Monk, Internal Family Systems counselor and nutrition wellness coach. He's helped hundreds of people through universal meal principles and internal family systems to make peace with food, stop binge eating, and find true health and wholeness.

@jared_levenson

Watch "How To" free masterclass training To become Peaceful and free!

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