RE: [Harp-L] Lip (herpes simplex 1) sores a.k.a. harp adversity.

As a health professional I can easily wrap my mind around the hows and whys of viruses but damn: Life's been a bit challenging lately and must have zapped my immune system. A terrible sore on my lip (I'm on topical and oral medication) at a point where I have quite a few musical obligations. Anyone have any experience with chronic or recurrent lip sores and expediting recovery. And yes I know it's a pretty "gross" subject.

In the UK you can buy a tiny tube of lip cream that contains the antiviral drug Acyclovir. There are different brands and some stores do their own brand. It is easy to apply and is very effective. It will cure a cold sore in a couple of days and will stop it from erupting at all if you catch it at that early itchy-tingly phase. There are other creams that "relieve cold sores and cracked lips," etc, but you need to look out for that magic ingredient Acyclovir. I also recommend a lip cream (called Cymex over here) that is thin and water-based with no added flavours (yuk). It comes in a little 5g tube. It is mildly antiseptic and I might use it once or twice during a gig or session if I feel the lips are getting a beating (actually, you shouldn't really be giving your lips a beating playing harp anyway...). You use a tiny amount and it doesn't foul up the holes. I clean all my harps thoroughly after playing them. Contrary to what's often said, I've found that I can wash all my plastic, non-valved 10-hole harps under a good stream of tepid water. I even do it to my MS wood-bodied ones, but don't tell anyone. Not the old-style Hohner wood combs though I don't think. Soaking the comb of an Echo is immediately fatal, so these and my chroms (which I don't use much) just get a good all-over wipe with a damp cloth and the upside-down-in-shallow-hot-water slide treatment. Leave 'em all out to dry overnight. No advice is good advice, mind (no law-suits please).

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