Tennis player Nadine Kenzelmann explains how she overcame her cold sores
For many people, herpes blisters are a nuisance. They just keep showing up whenever the body is under stress. There’s nothing you can do to keep them away – even well-known stars such as Victoria Beckham and Paris Hilton have not been able to beat them, although they can afford to seek the help of top doctors.
Herpes: widespread but rarely talked about
Although 85% of adults around the world carry the herpes simplex 1 virus, for many of those affected, herpes is a taboo subject. During the phase of the infection when the blisters are present, the virus can be easily transmitted to other individuals. That’s why this is when people retreat from public appearances. The unsightly cold sores on the lips can significantly impact people both physically and emotionally. “I have had from cold sores since childhood” declared Nadine Kenzelmann, who spent a lot of her time outdoors even as a child. “The blisters appear every other month or so. The outbreaks have gotten worse over time. At the Tennis World Championship in San Diego in 2012, it was really bad: my lips were completely marred and the blisters went all the way up to my nose.” Because the burst blisters are so contagious, basic hygiene is the order of the day. Even unwashed dishes, flatware or hand towels can transfer the virus to other people. Nadine Kenzelmann tells us about her experience: “Once the blisters appear, you must wash your hands frequently and it’s best to avoid any kind of body contact. Even a kiss on the cheek presents a risk. This means that life can become stressful when cold sores keep on coming back.”
Hormones as the trigger
In Nadine Kenzelmann’s case, the herpes outbreaks started in her childhood. She was always the kind of kid who needs to move a lot. Early on, she discovered her passion for sports. When she started playing tennis, it quickly became clear that she showed a lot of talent for the sport. She started regular training and the more she developed as a tennis player, the more demanding the training became. In particular, once she was accepted to the Swiss national team, she needed to train every day and hard. The physical challenge of this training is accompanied by hormonal changes that are known to be a key trigger for cold sores. Stress that is associated with hormones is another important trigger for the blisters. Hormonal fluctuations reduce the strength of the immune system and the herpes viruses make their way to the lips so they can spread into the environment.
With increasing success in tennis, the pressure of expectation started to increase. Once consequence was that the outbreaks of cold sores became more frequent. Even the doctor who had prescribed the well-known herpes drugs to Nadine was not able to help. There was no drug and no home remedy that helped her. “I was desperate, because this bad of an outbreak also affected my concentration in the game. I felt pain that distracted me. In top-level tennis, mental strength is an important factor for success. The outbreaks increasingly gnawed at my self-esteem. I felt unattractive. I even thought I should resign. When a bad outbreak hit me again, my godfather from Pratteln came to me and brought me a tube of a new product that had recently come on the market. It was called lipivir® and was a colourless gel in a tube. I thought, sure, I’ll give it a try. I did not have a lot of hope that it would help. This is what made it even more exciting when the blisters actually stayed away! It was like a small miracle! Now I always keep a small tube in all the places I regularly stay. I use the transparent gel as soon as I detect the first signs – the tingling sensation. In times of stress, when I know from experience that an outbreak is imminent, I use the gel daily as a preventative measure. The quality of my life has definitely gone up and now I can concentrate better on the game of tennis,” explained the Swiss star.
For the first time, a prophylaxis from Switzerland
The product, the lip gel known as lipivir®, is produced by an innovative Swiss company (Devirex AG). The colourless gel with a slight lemony taste is made of polyethylene glycols and has a high probability of preventing the appearance of cold sores. Instead of treating the blisters only once they are already noticeable and the outbreak can no longer be prevented, the gel is used as a prophylaxis.
Nadine Kenzelmann is thrilled with the gel: “I haven’t had an outbreak in more than a year. It was like a miracle! And the great thing about the product is that you can still use your usual cosmetics such as lipstick or skin creams after using it. lipivir® is colourless and discrete. Even when I use the gel during the day, nobody notices!”
Best results only with regular use
The gel must be used regularly to achieve adequate protection. People with frequent outbreaks use lipivir® daily. Nadine Kenzelmann is someone who notices the herpes symptoms right away. She uses the gel as soon as she feels the tingling sensations, because she never wants to go back to those times when she suffered from intense outbreaks. Because Nadine has her cold sores under control, she feels like a burden has been lifted: “Now I can concentrate more on my game and enjoy my free time without worry!”
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