Cold sores are common during pregnancy due to hormonal changes and increased levels of stress. When pregnant with an active cold sore, the virus is rarely transmitted to the baby, who is protected by anti-bodies from the mother if she has had previous cold sore outbreaks prior to pregnancy.
If it’s the very first time having a cold sore, it’s possible the baby might contract the virus due to Mom’s lack of antibodies developed from a prior infection. It’s best to call your obstetrician if a cold sore occurs.
After the baby’s birth, the immune system is immature and more susceptible to a viral infection, so inform friends and family to avoid direct contact with the baby if there’s an active cold sore infection until it has completely healed.
If you’ve had a cold sore in the past, you probably know that it’s due to the herpes simplex virus I infection. The virus is not genetically acquired but transmitted by someone who has an active infection via a kiss, sharing eating utensils, or from a spray of saliva while talking or sneezing. Transmission of the virus can happen any time from infancy up through the golden years. My first cold sore occurred at 15; my father’s, at 75. The virus is highly contagious and it’s estimated that most of us carry it.
Most people never experience a cold sore because of a strong immune system, while others experience an outbreak due to stress, fatigue, hormonal changes, illness, overexposure to sun and trauma to the lips, such as dental work, or having a cosmetic tattoo applied to the lips to line them.
One who has never experienced a cold sore outbreak won’t be familiar with, and recognize, the early warning symptom that occurs just prior to an eruption. It’s characterized by a tingle, itch, or numb sensation where the sore will emerge.
There are no shortage of over-the-counter cold sore treatments available at your local drug store and supermarket that numb the painful sore, or dry it up to hasten healing. A quick look at their ingredients may have you opt for something more natural.
Prevention of a cold sore always trumps treating one after an outbreak, which typically takes two weeks to heal.
Zovirax and other pharmaceutical choices are available, but if pregnant, natural options may be preferable. Lysine supplements are popular to ingest when a cold sore is coming on, but those pregnant often prefer something topical. There’s a a few home remedies that might help. A used black tea bag that has cooled and comfortable to the touch placed over the area where the early symptom is occurring might help. Another technique is the application of an ice cube to the area, or a slice of lemon.
Cold Sores Begone is a topical, herbal remedy that often works as a preventative when nothing else does, and can be thrown in a purse to apply if the early symptom occurs anywhere you happen to be. A dab or two at the tingle stops the infection in its tracks. Currently, there’s a Try Me sale at www.ColdSoresBegone.com.
The most important thing about having a cold sore is to keep the baby safe. But next to that, who wouldn‘t want to prevent a cold sore? They’re NOT attractive!
About the author
Robin Barr is a business owner, animal lover, information and resources junkie, and a fan of innovation. She's also the inventor of award-winning Cold Sores Begone™, an instant preventative, and Canker Sores Begone™, a healing accelerator. A boomer and ENFP, Robin lives in Mission Viejo, Calif.