When a cold sore's not making itself a huge lip ache, it's snoozing in the nerves below your skin, just waiting for a reason to wake up. And what sets off its alarm clock?
- Infection, colds and flu
- Ultraviolet radiation, such as a sunburn
- Changes in the immune system
- Food allergies
- Dental work
To help avoid some of these triggers, practice stress-busting techniques like exercise, meditation, yoga or reading. Avoid acidic and salty foods like potato chips or citrus fruits as they can further irritate cold sores and add to the pain.