~ Tonight I'm pleased to share with you an informative post from guest blogger, Carrie Shannon about cold sores. I found this to be very educational and interesting and hope you do too! ~
While food does not actually cause the herpes virus, it can play a monumental role in triggering outbreaks; more so than most parents are really aware of.
Even if you try your hardest to make sure that your child eats a balanced diet every day, they may not be consuming the right foods. Not to mention, you are not always around your child, and can't really control what they eat at school or at their friend's house. Therefore, it is important to talk with them about why you enforce dietary guidelines, and why it is so crucial that they stick with them.
Dos and Don'ts of the Diet
Are you giving your child a peanut butter sandwich everyday because they love them, and you are trying to make sure they get a lot of protein? Well, you could be triggering their outbreaks.
First of all, peanuts contain high levels of arginine which has the ability to activate a dormant virus. Although a small handful of nuts can be eaten as a snack (never a meal), it is better to eat these raw than in peanut butter.
You are probably wondering what the difference is, right? Well, when you spread that peanut butter on bread, you are immediately adding simple carbohydrates to their meal as well. What do simple carbohydrates turn into during digestion? Glucose! Unfortunately, all types of sugar can trigger herpes.
Therefore, the less sugar in your child's diet, the better off they will be. For those of you that think you are doing the right thing by offering juice or juice boxes, think again! Check the label; if it is not unsweetened, it is no better than soda. Now, just imagine if you are putting jelly on that sandwich too! That would be even more sugar!
The best way to get necessary protein into your child's diet is through sources that are high in lysine, which has the ability to inhibit the virus. Some of these sources include beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish, bison, lamb and wild game.
With busy schedules and picky eaters, it certainly never hurts to make sure your child takes a high-quality supplement every day either. This will ensure that they get all the vitamins and minerals that they need on a regular basis.
Handling a Symptom
If your child is really young, you will notice a symptom before they are aware of what it is. They will likely experience a little tingling, but you will see redness and probably catch them touching their face a lot. They need to be taught right away to stop touching it, or they will only make it worse.
Symptoms should be addressed right away. Dedicate a drawer in the bathroom or even a Tupperware container to creating a cold sore remedies kit. In it should be cotton swabs or balls and hydrogen peroxide or alcohol.
If your child is at least 8 years old, they will be able to clean the sore themselves. If they are younger, you will need to do it but at least everything will be handy. You won't have to reach for something, realize you are out of it and run to the store in the middle of the night or before work in the morning.
While it is healing, kisses must be kept to themselves. Let them know that although absolutely everyone loves and appreciates their kisses, they will have to bottle them up to save for when the sores go away. Herpes can spread lightning fast through kissing.
Once the cold sore is completely gone, always swap out their toothbrush for a fresh one. Children (and adults), don't always rinse their toothbrush as well as they should, and germs can linger. If they continue to use the same brush, a vicious cycle is created.
Even a young child can be taught the basics about the herpes virus. While they will not understand anything technical, or why their body continues to produce them now-and-then, they can be taught that there are millions of others just like them going through the same exact thing.
It is scary to feel as though you are different or think that something is wrong; this is natural. They probably have no idea that the vast majority of their friends have had at least one too. The more knowledgeable they are, the more secure they will feel if they are teased, because face it, kids can be unkind.
If you don't understand the virus yourself, ask your pediatrician for pamphlets or for tips on explaining it. There are reports you can access from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) as well. Of course, you can always just rely on the internet; there is a tremendous amount of information on cold sores available. Just make sure that if you are looking for more technical information, that you use trusted sites, such as Mayo Clinic and Web MD.
Carrie Shannon is the publisher of YourColdSoreRemedies.com, a website devoted to providing information on safe and effective cold sore treatments. One day a cold sore appeared on Carrie's face and she asked "What's the fastest way to get rid of a cold sore?" and YourColdSoreRemedies was born. In her spare time you can find Carrie walking her Yorkies, Oscar and Maggie, near her home in Hermosa Beach, Ca.