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Carmex survey: Cold sores kill first impressions


FRANKLIN, Wis. — First impressions are important, which may explain why almost half of adults would likely cancel a date if they woke up with a cold sore. And more than 1-in-4 Americans would postpone a job interview, according to the Carmex “Let’s Get Closer” survey, representing a Harris Poll of more than 1,100 adults between the ages of 21 years and 54 years.


The flipside is also true — close to 2-in-5 said they would be very to somewhat likely to cut short a date if their date showed up with a cold sore. And as many as 29% acknowledge that they would wonder if the cold sore was contagious, while 26% would wonder if it was herpes. 


It would seem obvious that no one really wants to kiss someone who has a cold sore, yet surprisingly, men might still consider it. However, 67% of women said they would be very unlikely to do this, while 57% say they would be unlikely.


If you do have an occasional or frequent cold sore, do you ever wonder what people are thinking when they see you? Gratifyingly, 68% of those ages 21 years to 34 years and 67% of those ages 35 years to 44 years think “That must be painful.” Almost half of consumers ages 45 years to 54 years share this reaction. 


On the other hand, caution prevails. As many as 31% of adults between ages 21 years and 44 years wonder if it’s contagious versus 22% of adults ages 45 years to54 years. Herpes is on people’s minds, too, when they see a cold sore — 29% of adults ages 21 years to 34 years and 28% of adults ages 35 years to 44 years wonder if the cold sore might be herpes. Interestingly, men 13% are more likely than women 7% to think that the person with a cold sore isn’t clean.


Carma Labs last year launched Carmex Cold Sore Treatment, which works on contact to block pain and itch while minimizing the appearance of a cold sore, according to the company. 

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