Sun-Induced Herpes

While a herpes outbreak can occur under various circumstances: fever, fatigue, menstruation or stress, sun-induced herpes is a direct result of exposure to the sun. Individuals may experience a significant outbreak around the mouth or nose that occurs as soon as they begin winter sports or at the beginning of summer.

An outbreak of sun-induced herpes is triggered when a virus that is already present in the body is stimulated to reproduce by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. One reason that flare-ups are thought to develop after sun exposure is that ultraviolet light from the sun can hinder certain immune cells.  For this reason, protection against UV rays is essential.

Specialists recommend that broad spectrum high protection lip balms or sticks should be applied to the lips and face very two hours. This treatment may help to prevent an outbreak.

If an outbreak can’t be prevented, there are medicines that can treat sun-induced herpes. These work by blocking the reproduction of the herpes virus. Treatment is most effective when it is started as soon as the first symptoms appear. Outbreaks tend to be heralded by a slight burning sensation that most sufferers are familiar with so this is the time to start treating. Individuals should refrain from scratching the scabs, which can cause cross-infection by germs (impetigo) or promote the spread of the virus. Direct contact (kissing) with friends and family and any irritating local product, which aggravates the sores, should be avoided.

We stock a wide range of high protection sunscreens including Anthelios sunscreens and Ombrelle sunscreens.  If you are susceptible to sun-induced herpes, always cover up when exposed to UV rays. If you find yourself with an outbreak talk to your doctor or pharmacist about treatment to shorten its duration. A topical cream like Abreva  may help.