4

votes

Unpleasant response to sun exposure.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 26, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Hey, all!

I'm currently on vacation with my family, and on Sunday, I went out without sunblock and got a mild sunburn. I wasn't out long, and my shoulders are only slightly pinked from it. My face suffered no visible damage that I'm aware of...except that now I have a cold sore.

It seems like every time I try to go out and soak up some Vitamin D, my lip erupts into blisters.

Am I doomed to get my Vit D in pill form forever more? How can I reap the benefits of sunshine without suffering from an outbreak? And lastly, is there anything I can do to help myself heal faster from it?

I am aware of another thread that discusses cold sores, but I did not see any advice on how to adapt, maybe, to sun exposure? Is that feasible? Additionally, Vit D supplements do not cause cold sores on me. It's the actual sunshine that triggers them. (Though, admittedly, I've been under great duress whilst planning this trip and sleeping and eating poorly, and I imagine the sunburn was simply the final straw for my poor body.)

I did notice that this is the smallest cold sore I've ever had (last one I had was last year, after a particularly nasty sunburn, and I was a vegetarian back then), with only a couple small blisters that aren't even visible unless I specifically point them out. I also immediately attacked it with coconut oil, as it was all I had in the car with me when I noticed the onset of tingling. I wonder if Paleo -- or even the coconut oil? -- is making me more resistant to more severe outbreaks?

Thank you! :)

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on July 30, 2011
at 06:12 PM

Sounds like you are good on D3 then. Maybe a bit low on fats. There have been people saying that they don't get as affected by the sun when they're eating higher amounts of healthy saturated fats. Maybe toss in an avocado every day, and a few doses of heavy cream for a week or two (to let it build up) and see what happens?

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1801)

on July 28, 2011
at 08:54 AM

Oops, sorry about the spelling... iphone!!! polymorphous, not polymorphouse, lol! Hope it helps as I think sometimes, we think of the obvious reasons instead of looking at non-obvious reasons if that makes sense. Although, the casuse of PMLE could be what The Quilt has said...

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on July 27, 2011
at 05:44 AM

Thank you for your thoughtful reply; it was very helpful. You have my condolences, Katherine. I'm so sorry for your loss. You're in my thoughts.

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on July 27, 2011
at 05:42 AM

You know, you've given me something to think about. I'm going to research that further and learn more about it. I love learning new things, though. Thank you!

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on July 27, 2011
at 05:40 AM

I take a dose of 5,000-10,000 (is it IU? not sure!) every few days. I'm lousy at remembering to take it. I love fats, but my fella likes his lean meat, so it mostly comes from eggs, nut butters/seeds, and chocolate. :P Geez, after writing this down, I realize that I really need to start taking charge of my health!

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on July 27, 2011
at 05:36 AM

Q4T on the Pacific Northwest. I'm from Humboldt, and I just went crazy with delight when I felt the warm air, thus my failure to use the sunblock. I'll pick up a tube of Blistex when I'm out tomorrow. Thank you!

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on July 27, 2011
at 05:33 AM

That's really fascinating to know, about the connection between meat and lysine and its effect on the virus. I'm headed out tomorrow to do some shopping. I'll pick some up. Thank you!

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on July 27, 2011
at 05:32 AM

You're probably right. I do tend to overdo it on the almonds and dark chocolate.

967229edcc94a66580110324524feb49

(688)

on July 27, 2011
at 04:04 AM

Great suggestion- I've been suffering with cold sores the last 8 years or so. It's severe enough that I have permanent scarring where my first and worst outbreak ever happened. I finally got a prescription for have acyclovir and it's been a big help. Also chap stick with SPF like yer mama mentions!

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on July 27, 2011
at 03:38 AM

I have this and have never heard of anyone else having it. People think I'm crazy when I say I'm allergic to the sun, but just for the first few months of Spring to Summer.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on July 27, 2011
at 12:42 AM

sounds like your six to three ratio is not good

Aeec781cc234fcae119d4a71532058f5

(2047)

on July 26, 2011
at 11:24 PM

You and your family are in my thoughts.

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1801)

on July 26, 2011
at 08:18 PM

:-( Sorry to hear that. Thoughts are with you and your family x

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on July 26, 2011
at 06:29 PM

So sorry Katherine.

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7 Answers

7
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on July 27, 2011
at 04:12 AM

Take lysine, and minimize arginine. Lysine and arginine are counter-balancing.

See, e.g. Success of L-Lysine Therapy in Frequently Recurrent Herpes simplex Infection and Relation of Arginine-Lysine Antagonism to Herpes simplex Growth in Tissue Culture

Wikipedia claims this is unproven, but I'm not sure how in light of the above.

Anyway, anecdotally, I now take lysine, and haven't had a cold sore in years, but I've gotten sunburned. The frequency of outbreaks for me already went way down after going carnivore, though, so it might be early to tell if the lysine is helping. On the other hand, as far as I can tell, animal foods all seem to be both high in lysine in absolute terms, and higher in lysine than arginine, so maybe that's part of the mechanism in carnivory, too.

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on July 27, 2011
at 05:33 AM

That's really fascinating to know, about the connection between meat and lysine and its effect on the virus. I'm headed out tomorrow to do some shopping. I'll pick some up. Thank you!

5
Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

on July 26, 2011
at 06:24 PM

1) do not get a mild sunburn. Just don't do it. Go out to the point that you can be sure a burn will not occur. If that's one minute per day, then so be it.

2) topical ascorbic acid is a very effective tx for herpes blisters. It may also prevent them. As sun exposure rapidly depletes antioxidant levels in skin, and since yours erupt following sun exposure, it would make sense to apply an effective ascorbic acid serum every am. (bonus: it's also one of the evidence based tx for photodamage and prevention of photodamage along with retinoids and highly protective, properly applied sunscreen)

3) topical vitamin D might also help if you feel that tingling sensation of an impending eruption.

4) sufficient zinc, selenium, A also play important roles in immune function in general and in viral immunity specifically.

I think I've written elsewhere about this here so maybe a search would bring something? Sorry this is so short (but it was a nice break from the work at hand), our uncle and aunt just died in a plane crash:/

http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20110725/NEWS01/107250307/2-dead-from-plane-crash-Palm-Bay?odyssey=nav|head

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1801)

on July 26, 2011
at 08:18 PM

:-( Sorry to hear that. Thoughts are with you and your family x

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on July 26, 2011
at 06:29 PM

So sorry Katherine.

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on July 27, 2011
at 05:44 AM

Thank you for your thoughtful reply; it was very helpful. You have my condolences, Katherine. I'm so sorry for your loss. You're in my thoughts.

Aeec781cc234fcae119d4a71532058f5

(2047)

on July 26, 2011
at 11:24 PM

You and your family are in my thoughts.

3
81bb94ebbfe93b43ee0c76d757da3c48

on July 27, 2011
at 03:14 AM

I have suffered with hsv-1 (cold sores) all of my life (I'm 57). As a kid, when skiing or boating, my parents made me wear white zinc oxide on my nose and lips -- aagghh! Hated that! In recent years, in addition to wearing a hat as often as possible, I used a #15 sunscreen chapstick on my lips. I just discovered that "Badger" makes a sunscreen with zinc oxide that disappears when you rub it in - fantastic! I've used it several times this summer. Unfortunately, I've only needed it several times this summer because we're having Endless Winter here in the Pacific Northwest!

I have a RX for my cold sores if and when they do occur: Zovirax (acyclovir) (whatever). I don't mess around with cold sores. As soon as I feel that itchy kinda tingle, I apply the Rx. And I NEVER go outside without protecting my lips from the sun -- even on a cloudy day. (I am a fair-skinned redhead).

If you're on vacation, I recommend buying a tube of #15 or #30 chapstick (I use Blistex) and apply it liberally and often to lips and surrounding areas -- it's clear and won't show. No sense suffering when you're supposed to be having fun!

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on July 27, 2011
at 05:36 AM

Q4T on the Pacific Northwest. I'm from Humboldt, and I just went crazy with delight when I felt the warm air, thus my failure to use the sunblock. I'll pick up a tube of Blistex when I'm out tomorrow. Thank you!

967229edcc94a66580110324524feb49

(688)

on July 27, 2011
at 04:04 AM

Great suggestion- I've been suffering with cold sores the last 8 years or so. It's severe enough that I have permanent scarring where my first and worst outbreak ever happened. I finally got a prescription for have acyclovir and it's been a big help. Also chap stick with SPF like yer mama mentions!

2
C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1801)

on July 26, 2011
at 08:23 PM

Definitely coldsores? Have you heard of polymorphous light eruption? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymorphous_light_eruption

On my first few exposures to warm sun (spring/summer in the UK) I get polymorphouse light eruption. It goes away after being exposed more frequently.

Think is with PMLE, is that it's different in different people...

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on July 27, 2011
at 03:38 AM

I have this and have never heard of anyone else having it. People think I'm crazy when I say I'm allergic to the sun, but just for the first few months of Spring to Summer.

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on July 27, 2011
at 05:42 AM

You know, you've given me something to think about. I'm going to research that further and learn more about it. I love learning new things, though. Thank you!

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1801)

on July 28, 2011
at 08:54 AM

Oops, sorry about the spelling... iphone!!! polymorphous, not polymorphouse, lol! Hope it helps as I think sometimes, we think of the obvious reasons instead of looking at non-obvious reasons if that makes sense. Although, the casuse of PMLE could be what The Quilt has said...

1
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on July 27, 2011
at 01:26 AM

1) How much Vitamin D3 are you currently taking? 2) What kind of healthy fats are you eating? Or are you avoiding all fats?

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on July 27, 2011
at 05:40 AM

I take a dose of 5,000-10,000 (is it IU? not sure!) every few days. I'm lousy at remembering to take it. I love fats, but my fella likes his lean meat, so it mostly comes from eggs, nut butters/seeds, and chocolate. :P Geez, after writing this down, I realize that I really need to start taking charge of my health!

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on July 30, 2011
at 06:12 PM

Sounds like you are good on D3 then. Maybe a bit low on fats. There have been people saying that they don't get as affected by the sun when they're eating higher amounts of healthy saturated fats. Maybe toss in an avocado every day, and a few doses of heavy cream for a week or two (to let it build up) and see what happens?

0
Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 29, 2014
at 04:38 PM

Sun exposure seems to activate the herpes virus, or at least weaken your body so that the exposed area may be more exposed for it to erupt. Would sunscreen on your face help in this case?

0
697ae404cd5558b03706f1ea4935d46b

on May 28, 2014
at 12:19 PM

Ah, because the sun dries out your skin, including your lips, it gives the herpes virus a point of access. Look at getting spammed.

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