Sali Loves: Boots Avert Coldsore Machine

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One lo-tech, implausible little gadget from your local chemist proves that miracle products really do exist


If I had to choose one product I believe in more than any other, one that I want people to go out and buy, use, go “bloody hell, she was right”, then I think, in all honesty, it would be the Boots Avert Coldsore Machine. More than any serum, concealer, balm or supplement, this is a product that truly performs miracles, and not a week goes by without a reader getting in touch with me to say this slightly crap looking, seemingly lo-tech gadget has changed their life immeasurably. I will probably remind you of the Avert every winter for the rest of my career but this week especially, has made me want to sing its praises again.


I came down with a very heavy cold four days ago. The worst thing about colds, for me, is the almost inevitability of a coldsore at the end of it (indeed, lots of people believe flu-like symptoms are simply the pre-effects of a coldsore, not a ‘traditional cold’ at all). As soon as I start sniffing and feeling sorry for myself, I grab one of my two Avert machines (one lives next to my bed, the other in my handbag – to be caught short is beyond frustrating) and start zapping. Most coldsore sufferers have a regular spot where sores show up. Mine is on the left hand side of my mouth, so that’s where I concentrate my efforts (the Avert works anywhere on the face though). So on Wednesday, as soon as I started to feel ill and the telltale tingle on my upper lip, I placed the machine over my mouth, pressed the button and held it there for the full four minutes until the Avert beeped to tell me the treatment (using light therapy) was complete. I did this 3-4 times a day thereafter (the box says twice is sufficient but I am a somewhat unrestrained person by nature). The coldsore did indeed appear, but instead of the classic weeping, agonising, bleeding, throbbing, size-of-a-Ford-Focus sore I suffered for many years, this one is utterly puny. It resembles an untroubling zit and is safely confined to the lip itself, not invading the upper area like a rebel force. It is completely sealed and not weeping at all. There’s no scab. It’s not uncomfortable or causing me any hassle whatsoever. No one else in the house has even noticed it’s there. It is almost piteous really, and will have shuffled off in shame by Tuesday. And the truly remarkable thing is that thanks to using Avert a couple of times a week since I bought it, this little bump is my first coldsore in two years.


TWO YEARS. This may be insignificant to non coldsore sufferers (and if you’re one of them, props for even making it this far into the post), but for sufferers like me, that is two years of not turning down nice invitations because there appears to be a stale Wotsit stuck to your face, two years of having conversations with your hands at your side, not covering your lower face as though your companion has noxious halitosis. Two years of being able to kiss your children whenever they want you to, of not throwing good money at super expensive creams that don’t work. Coldsores are bloody awful. £36 is peanuts when it means you’ll no longer have to put up with their debilitating bullshit.



photo of ice credit: Andre Mouraux

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