Ask the Addict: Sunscreen

Hi there,

I’m starting the “weaning” process today after 39 years of always needing balm.  I have a question though. If I’m not careful, my lips will burn and get cold sores in the summer. Once I get this habit kicked, what is the best sunscreen lip protection to use?  I don’t want to re-start the need in my lips for balm, but I don’t want them unprotected either.

Any thoughts?

Thanks so much!
Julie L

I’m fairly certain cold sores have nothing to do with sunburn. As such, if cold sore are your concern I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

That said, we know that with summer approaching that sun issues are an important concern. As such, we will continue to recommend traditional sunscreens for those who feel that using lip balms with SPF factors too high a risk. As always, consult with your dermatologist.

After nearly four decades of use, it’s clear you’re gunshy about giving up the balm. This looks less like a physical problem than a psychological one, so we would recommend seeking a therapist to discuss the mental model of your balm usage.

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Comments

4 Responses to “Ask the Addict: Sunscreen”
  1. Claire says:

    “I’m fairly certain cold sores have nothing to do with sunburn. As such, if cold sore are your concern I wouldn’t worry about it too much.”

    There is a definite correlation; I normally get cold stores only 2-3 times per year, but EVERY time I get sunburned or spend a long time in the sun, I get a big one the very next day. So frustrating!

  2. AliceInTheGarden says:

    All types of herpes such as cold sores need an open wound, no matter how small, to take hold. When your lips crack, herpes throws a party.

    BE CAREFUL NOT TO TOUCH YOUR EYES, GENITALS, OR ANY AREA WITH THIN SKIN OR CUTS AFTER CONTACT WITH A COLD SORE, IT WILL SPREAD TO THAT AREA.

  3. Red says:

    “I’m fairly sure…” Ja, Alice In The Garden is right. Cold sores are caused by an incurable dormant viral infection, like shingles or chickenpox (both close relatives actually). See a dermatologist and use Abbreva.

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