A lip ring, stud or labret is a popular accessory. Unfortunately, lip piercings and cold sores can be a difficult combination.

If you do have a cold sore and want to get your lip pierced, you need to be aware of many things. Questions involving HSV-1 spreading and piercing placement can often be highly significant.

Although redness and irritation are likely whenever you get a piercing near the mouth, People with cold sores have to be mindful of other issues that can potentially arise.

Let’s take a closer look at the problems that can arise so that they can be avoided.

Are Cold Sores Caused by Lip Rings, Studs, & Labrets?

If you carry HSV-1, the pierced area can serve as a cold sore trigger. The hole itself can become a source of transmission. Just as problematic, a lip piercing can act as a portal to get HSV-1 if you are currently free of the virus.

To understand why a simple mouth piercing can potentially cause a problem, you must first understand HSV-1. Typically transmitted from saliva entering a break in the lip or mouth, HSV-1 is the virus that births cold sores. Kissing, sharing drinks, sharing cigarettes, etc. can promote transmission.

The spot on your lip created by a piercing is more extensive than a basic lip abrasion. If a small cut is enough to receive and transfer HSV-1, a piercing needle is much worse. In any other light, the result of the piercing would be viewed as an injury. Essentially a controlled, yet open, wound.

While our goal is not to promote fear, you are more at risk of getting cold sores (and increasing the frequency of recurrent cold sores) if you get a lip piercing. This risk is both a contracting risk as well as transmission.

In summary…

  • The actual lip piercing (hole) can leave you susceptible to HSV-1 and the recurrence of cold sores.
  • If you already carry HSV-1 a lip ring can serve as a trigger. You also naturally become more likely to transmit the virus.
  • If you do not currently carry HSV-1, a lip ring can introduce you to potential transmission. While even a simple cut can be enough for transmission, a needle piercing is ‘potentially’ more problematic.
  • People with lip rings are at a greater risk of cold sores compared to people without piercings.

Should I Get a Lip Piercing with a Cold Sore?

While this is a personal decision, we advise you to use caution. Approach the situation with care and make sure you’re aware of the potential pitfalls.

Once the piercing is made in your lip, you become vulnerable. Not only for the reasons that have been documented above but also viral spreading.

It is possible for cold sores to spread due to the piercing itself. Cold sores close to the mouth, chin, cheeks, and eyes (ocular cold sores) can occur in addition to the lips. Increased blisters also mean you are naturally more of a transmission threat.

Where to place the lip piercing is another concern. If you have had cold sores for a while, you likely know the common outbreak area. Knowing this can potentially be your saving grace.

Is the bottom left corner your problem area? If so, consider getting pierced on the other side. Understanding your HSV-1 issues can be helpful in your final decision to get pierced.

Things to consider…

  • Evaluate your situation. This is important for HSV-1 carriers as well as non-infected individuals. Understand the potential risks before getting pierced.
  • If you already deal with cold sores, a piercing could cause them to spread. You could potentially have outbreaks in new places. This is due to the lip being manipulated. The virus can spread beyond the original transmission point.
  • Avoid getting pierced in a common outbreak region. Cold sore outbreaks typically occur where the original transmission took place. By knowing this, you may be able to avoid this possibility.

Will I Get Recurrent Cold Sores More Often?

The potential does exist. While everyone is certainly different, all the elements are in place for cold sores to appear more frequently. This is especially true if you are already prone to outbreaks.

While active treatment can reduce your risk, a heavy risk does exist.

Your initial line of defense begins with being observant and proactive. You can quell many cold sore outbreaks by catching them early.

  • Cold sores have the potential to recur. Not only issues with your original transmission area but unfortunately new areas.
  • You can fight potential outbreaks by staying ahead of the game. As soon as you experience a lip tingle, take action. This is very important if you want to maintain a positive and healthy appearance. Let’s not dismiss the embarrassment factor that cold sores can carry.
  • Treatment options such as Abreva, Herp Rescue, and HERP-B-GONE are available. Each link will take you to a review!

Should you get lip piercings with cold sores?

Precautions When Getting a Piercing Near to the Mouth

If you have decided to take the plunge, there are important precautions to take. These safeguards are not only for you but those around you as well.

Noted below are courses of action that need to be taken both before and after the piercing process.

  • It is critical that you scout your location. Not every piercing provider/business is worthy of your money. Just because they can “do the job” does not mean they will do it correctly and in a sanitary fashion. Be sure to tell the piercer if you have HSV-1.
  • Never take matters into your own hands or rely on homemade practices. This is harmful and dangerous. Even wonderful professional work cannot protect you. Trying a “do it yourself” method should never be considered.
  • Follow your post-piercing sanitation plan. Do everything you have been instructed to do. Couple this act with monitoring of the pierced area. Until the piercing heals, you will have an open wound. You are advised to treat it as such, and avoid touching the area.
  • Inform people about your situation. This is especially true if you are an HSV-1 carrier or have an active sore. The last thing you want to do is place someone else at risk.

How to Recover from Cold Sores Faster

If you have cold sores and are concerned that a lip ring, stud or labret will make them worse, certain products can help. Also, the various products noted earlier, a unique technology can provide fast relief.

ViruLite, one of the most popular products designed to get rid of cold sores fast, is growing in popularity. ViruLite is the only FDA approved OTC device that has been proven to reduce healing time.

Courtesy of light technology, the ViruLite device is truly one of a kind. No creams and ointments are needed with this state of the art product.

Please click here to learn more about ViruLite, how it works, and what it can do for you. This device could play a major role in not only healing your sore but clearing your lip during a post-piercing outbreak.

Listed below are some important product points of note.

  • ViruLite is FDA approved.
  • Light technology. Say goodbye to creams and ointments.
  • Use 3 times per day for 2 days. It’s just that simple.
  • Proven to heal cold sores fast.

cold sores due to nose piercing

Lip Piercings CAN Cause Cold Sores

Although a lip piercing can potentially create problems, those issues can be managed.

While there isn’t a surefire way to prevent cold sores, there are certainly ways to make the situation worse. Unfortunately, getting your lip pierced can cause problems if you ignore the problems that have been discussed.

If you enjoy expressing your style through piercings, locate an area of the body that’s not prone to cold sores.