Your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication for you to take on a regular basis, if you develop cold sores frequently or if you're at high risk of serious complications. If sunlight seems to trigger your recurrences, apply sunblock to the spot where the cold sore tends to erupt.

To help avoid spreading cold sores to other people or to other parts of your body, you might try some of the following precautions:

  • Avoid skin-to-skin contact with others while blisters are present. The virus spreads most easily when there are moist secretions from the blisters.
  • Avoid sharing items. Utensils, towels, lip balm and other items can spread the virus when blisters are present.
  • Keep your hands clean. When you have a cold sore, wash your hands carefully before touching yourself and other people, especially babies.
May 15, 2015