Lip Fillers & Cold Sores: Everything You Need to Know

Lip Fillers & Cold Sores: Everything You Need to Know

July 11, 2023
Lady sitting on a dark couch partially covering her mouth representing a blog titled 'Everything you need to know about lip fillers and cold sores'

Lip fillers are an immensely popular cosmetic procedure, offering gorgeous results with little to no downtime or side effects. However, if you’re prone to cold sores, it’s important to know lip fillers can sometimes activate an outbreak. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about lip fillers and cold sores, including how they’re related and how to prevent an outbreak. 


Can I get lip fillers if I suffer from cold sores? 

Yes, you can! As long as you do not have an active lesion when getting lip fillers. It is important to allow the cold sore to resolve completely before considering any lip treatments.

The herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) is highly contagious during an outbreak, and introducing any form of trauma or irritation to the area can potentially worsen the condition and may even spread the virus to other parts of your lips. 

Once the cold sore has completely healed and there are no visible signs of an outbreak, you can go ahead with your lip filler procedure.

If you have a history of cold sores, it is important to inform your injector. They will recommend an antiviral medication before the procedure to minimise the risk of a cold sore outbreak.


Do lip fillers trigger cold sores? 

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) and are typically triggered by factors such as stress, illness, hormonal changes, and even exposure to sunlight.

Lip fillers do not directly trigger cold sores; however, it is important to note that any kind of beauty procedure, from lip fillers to energy-based device treatments such as IPL, laser resurfacing, RF micro-needling, and even skin needling, can potentially result in mild stress or irritation to the area which may trigger an outbreak. 


What if I develop a cold sore after lip fillers? 

If you develop a cold sore after getting lip fillers, reach out to your cosmetic injector who can help you manage the outbreak.

A few general guidelines to follow include:

  • Taking antiviral medication to help reduce the duration and severity of the outbreak  
  • Avoid touching or picking the area; this is important to prevent further irritation or spreading of the virus to other areas (touching the sore can also increase the risk of introducing bacteria and potentially causing an infection)
  • Keep the affected area clean and dry
  • Wash hands thoroughly to prevent the spread of the virus 


How to prevent cold sores after lip fillers?

While it is not possible to guarantee the prevention of cold sores entirely, there are some steps you can take to minimise the risk of developing a cold sore after getting lip fillers:

  1. Advise your cosmetic injector if you have a history of cold sore outbreaks or a diagnosis of the herpes simplex virus (HAV-1). This will help them take necessary precautions and provide you with appropriate advice.
  2. Consider over-the-counter antiviral prophylaxis before your procedure.
  3. Avoid lip fillers during an outbreak or when you feel ‘tingling’ that can onset before blisters appear.  
  4. Protect your lips from sun exposure. Excessive UV rays can trigger cold sore outbreaks in some individuals. Use SPF protection and consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat when outdoors.
  5. Manage stress levels where possible. Meditation, yoga, walking, exercise and adequate sleep can help reduce stress levels.
  6. Good hygiene, including regular hand washing and avoiding unnecessarily touching your lips or face to prevent potential virus spread.

It is important to note that these measures can help reduce the risk of cold sore outbreaks but may not eliminate the possibility entirely. Be sure to speak with your cosmetic injector about any concerns you may have before booking a procedure.