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Tue, Jun. 23rd, 2009, 01:57 pm
xynnia: Help! Cold sore problem :(

Heya :3 I've never posted to this community before, but I have an emergency! I'm a French Horn player and I have a cold sore (or blister or some kind of spot... I'm actually not sure) on my lip exactly where my mouthpiece goes when I'm playing the horn, and it's making it painful and difficult to play. I can reposition the mouthpiece slightly to make it less painful but then it makes some notes harder to play, and doesn't do wonders for my tone either. I'm all right with middle-range notes (middle C to A or B) but the higher the note, the more painful it is, and I also have difficulties with changing quickly between a high and a low note.

So, my question: has anyone here ever played the horn with a cold sore and/or can give me any advice on how to deal with it? Abstaining from playing the horn isn't an option since I've got school music practices to go to, a recording in one of them tomorrow and a BIG concert on Saturday, the last of my school career, where I'm playing first horn in two pieces... which is why it's an emergency. I've had it for a week and it doesn't seem to be going away normally, though I can still hope. I've just started putting Bonjela on it which is a gel that treats mouth ulcers, cold sores and the like... but in the event of it still being there on Saturday I want to try and play normally, even if it hurts.

Tue, Jun. 23rd, 2009 05:17 pm (UTC)

I've had that problem SO many times. First things first, stress does NOT help cold sores. Relaxing is the first step. Then go out and buy some Anbesol to numb the sore and help it heal. Try not to over practice, especially before saturday if it's important, but your playing is definately not going to be as good as it normally would, and if you push yourself it's going to hurt [and bleed] If you're hardcore you could pick the scab off of it so that it's flat and easier to fit into the mouthpiece, but make sure you use lots of ice if you do that [OR if you accidentally injure the sore]

Finally, I am sorry. Cold sores are horrible.

Mon, Jun. 29th, 2009 01:49 pm (UTC)

Thanks very much for the advice! I laid off the practicing and only played my horn in the dress rehearsal on Friday, and I think it helped. The recording on Wednesday was, well, painful but I don't think it showed too much in my playing. Thankfully they were only short pieces (Gollywog's Cake Walk and La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin) and I didn't have a major part. By Friday it had actually stopped hurting; my friend recommended me some stuff called Zovirax which is really good - and the concert on Saturday was excellent. :D

Tue, Jun. 23rd, 2009 09:16 pm (UTC)

I have this problem, too. I use Carmex and Abreva (used to be the Rx stuff for cold sores). AND take it easy this week, too. The other poster is right these things are brought on by stress and stress makes them last longer. Also, make sure you clean your mouthpiece - it can help keep the area sanitized.

Good luck! I feel your pain.

Mon, Jun. 29th, 2009 01:52 pm (UTC)

Thanks for the advice! On the recommendation of a friend who's had lots of cold sores I bought some Zovirax - don't know if it's international but it works, which is great. I cleaned the mouthpiece accordingly :) and by Saturday the sore had stopped hurting so the concert was fine. It's not gone yet but I hope it won't get any worse; I still have some playing to do!

Sun, Jun. 28th, 2009 03:17 am (UTC)

Try using a hot compress. Like take a washrag or a cloth and keep wetting it with really hot water and applying it to the sore. Have the water be as hot as you can stand it and do it for awhile. I did that when I had a nasty cold sore on my face when I was doing a pit orchestra and it helped. Also use something to numb the pain. Anything with analgesic (I think that's what it is) as an ingredient is good. And don't pick at it!!! This always happens to me at the worst possible time, it's ridiculously annoying. Good luck!!!

Mon, Jun. 29th, 2009 01:53 pm (UTC)

Thanks very much :D I am keeping my hands away from it at all times on the advice of a friend who's had lots of them, so I won't pick. It's stopped hurting at the moment but if it starts again I'll use your hot water trick. I have a good numbing and healing cream called Savlon which my dad swears by; it works on just about anything.