Using effective home remedies for this common health condition is important as not only are cold sores painful they are also highly contagious. Keep reading to find our useful list of home remedies which work incredibly well and without any awful side effects.
If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from cold sores then you have our sympathy! Cold sores are painful, unsightly and they make every day things like eating really difficult.
Treatment for cold sores can either be prescribed by doctors or improvised at home. Both treatments are effective at easing the symptoms of cold sores, which are caused by the herpes virus. It is always wise to check with the doctor before using home remedies.
Cold sores manifest in the form of fluid filled blisters, which normally appear around the mouth area or lips. The skin surrounding the blisters is normally red, swollen and sore. These sores are highly contagious, thus strict hygiene should be maintained so that the infection does not spread. If not treated, cold sore blisters will burst open after a few days, crust over and heal completely.
When Cold Sores Appear
If you are reading this article then we are guessing you already have the virus! If this is the case you’ll want to know how to zap them and the quicker you heal cold sores the better!
Cold sores appear when you are ill or stressed out and the body can’t fight infection and disease as well as it normally can.
Once you feel the cold sore coming on, treat it straight away. They can last for weeks if they are left untreated, but if you get it early enough this could be reduced to just a few days.
The initial symptoms usually include pain around the mouth or lips, fever, sore throat, swollen glands, or pain in other body parts. Pain or tingling sensations occur a day or two before the lesions are formed, and sometimes there is numbness, itching or burning.
In children, before they occur, it is noticed that children tend to drool a lot. Small painful blisters will form around the mouth. Small vesicles appear dry, and it may last from several days to several weeks.
Fever, menstruation, stress, food allergies, pregnancy, hormonal changes and sun exposure are some factors that can trigger a recurrence of infection of herpes labialis, infection of the mouth, lips, or gums caused by herpes simplex virus.
The herpes virus that causes cold sores is not curable, thus once a person is infected, it remains in one’s body for life. In view of this, treatment of cold sores only helps to reduce the frequency and
severity. The herpes virus usually enters a persons body through broken skin inside or around the mouth. It usually spreads when a person comes into contact with a cold sore or the infected fluid from the sores. It can be spread through sharing utensils, kissing infected persons or touching the persons saliva.
How to Get Rid of Them
There are plenty of theories on how to get rid of cold sores. Some people use medicated cream, and others opt for herbal or natural remedies.
However you treat it, keep the area dry and clean. Pat it dry after washing so as not to aggravate it. A little petroleum jelly over the top of the cold sore will help to keep it protected from dirt – the cleaner it is, the more quickly it will heal. Buy a new toothbrush straight away so you don’t retain any of the virus.
It’s also a really good idea to eat foods which are rich in lysine, an amino acid, such as potatoes and dairy products. You can also get it in a supplement if you’d prefer (but don’t take it if you are pregnant or breastfeeding).
If you would like to treat the cold sore naturally, then try lemon balm, tea tree oil, tea bags or Echinacea which all contain antiviral properties. Just apply them directly onto the affected area.
Try and avoid stress and look after yourself. The more sleep you get the more quickly your body will heal so be gentle. All these things will help shift your cold sore more quickly.
Kiss Them Goodbye!
With quick and effective treatment to heal cold sores, your cold sore can be a thing of the past in no time at all. Don’t suffer unnecessarily – blitz it and send it packing!
Some True and Tried Cold Sore Remedies
The below treatment methods suggest different solutions on how to get rid of cold sores.
Prescription cold sore remedies mainly consist of topical creams which are sold over the counter. An antiviral ointment or medication will help reduce the duration of cold sores and pain. These creams normally help to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with cold sores. Lipactin gel is a good example of these topical creams.
The prescription remedies are also available in the form of ointments which contain tetracaine or benzocaine, which provide relief from certain aspects of cold sores such as itching. Campho Phenique is also a popular remedy, which helps to dry the blisters as well as fight infection, thus promoting healing. It also helps to relieve itching and soreness on the infected area. Campho Phenique also keeps them from cracking, which makes them prone to further infection.
There is also some cold sore medicines which are only available through prescription such as penciclovir. At the same time, oral medication that lessens the duration of the infection is only available through prescription. In addition to combating pain, such medication speeds up a person’s recovery process.
Benzyl alcohol helps to relieve symptoms. Painkillers such as aspirin, acetaminophen may help. Lotions and supplements can reduce the time of infection in half.
However, it is important to note that the effectiveness of these drugs depends on the stage of a person’s cold sores. The best results are attained when they are taken during the prodrome stage, which is the earliest stage in the development of the virus. During this stage, the sores are not visible, but one usually experiences tingling or burning sensations on the skin around the mouth or lips.
It is essential to know how to get rid of cold sores using home remedies, given that they keep recurring. This will help to reduce the medical bills incurred, particularly since home remedies are often very effective. Home made cold sore and canker sore remedies are just as effective as over the counter remedies when it comes to relieving the symptoms of cold sores.
One of the most popular home remedies for a menacing cold sore is the use of ice. Applying ice on them before they burst is an effective way of relieving pain. Further, ice not only eases the pain, but it also prevents them from spreading. In order to achieve this effect, a person should apply ice on the cold sores after every few minutes during the first hour of their appearance. Applying ice to the infected area during the first hour deters the virus, which thrives in warm, moist environments. The effectiveness of the ice cubes can be enhanced if they are used together with alcohol. In this procedure, a person holds an ice cube against the sore until it melts. The cold sore is then dried with a clean towel, after which alcohol is applied to the sore using a cotton swab. If this process is repeated for thirty minutes to one hour, they will disappear within a short time.
Lysine is also a popular home remedy, which helps to inhibit the spread of the herpes virus. It is an essential amino acid, which is available in supplements or certain types of food. When lysine is consumed, it helps to replace arginine proteins in the body. Arginine proteins enable the herpes virus to multiply, thus the virus cannot thrive in a location with low arginine proteins. Consuming a diet rich in lysine such as cheese, gelatin-free yoghurt, milk and beef at the onset of the cold sores may keep them from developing. Owing to the role of arginine in the multiplication of the herpes virus, it is essential to avoid foods which are high in arginine such as nuts and chocolate.
Some people regularly take lysine supplements as a preventive measure to hinder the recurrence of cold sores. Take L-lysine an amino acid. However, it is important to consult a doctor before settling on a regular intake of lysine as it may increase cholesterol levels in some people.
Also suggested is 200 mg of ginseng, that also provides a solution on how to get rid of cold sores.
Essential plant oils help speed the healing process.
Other home remedies which can be used are lemon balm, aloe vera and salt. Lemon balm has antiviral properties, thus it promotes the healing of the cold sore blisters. If used regularly, it may also reduce the frequency of the cold sore recurrences. Applying aloe vera directly onto the cold sore also aids in its healing. The use of aloe vera may also hinder canker sores from developing.
Cold sores are normally preceded by tingling sensations on the mouth area or lips. As such, if aloe vera is rubbed on such areas, it may prevent the appearance of the cold sores. Salt is effective in drying up the cold sores when applied on the blisters.
Although this form of remedy can be quite painful, it is usually effective in shortening the duration of the cold sores. In most cases, cold sores normally take two to three weeks to heal. If the cold sores persist beyond this period even with the use of the above-mentioned home remedies, one should seek medical advice.
Regularly wash the area, and also remember to wash your hands to prevent the spread of infection.
Prevention is the Mother of Invention
As with most things like this, if you want to heal cold sores, prevention is better than cure. Cold sores are transferred to other people through close skin contact such as kissing.
If you know someone with a cold sore then don’t share toothbrushes, face clothes or anything else where the virus could be transferred. Once you have the virus it will always be dormant in you, so it’s in your interests to protect yourself from it.
If you have an infection, avoid contact with infants, eczema sufferers, or those with weakened immune systems. Avoid skin contact and kissing. Wash your hands so as not to infect other parts of your body. Avoid triggers such as stress and sunburn. Apply a lip balm and sunscreen.
When To See a Doctor
- If you have a pre-existing disease or medical condition that affects your immune system.
- If you are undergoing chemotherapy or undergoing other types of treatment.
- Cold sore does not heal on its own within two weeks.
- Your symptoms are severe or seem worse than normal.
- The infection spreads from one region to another.
- Beware if the virus reaches your eye, you should immediately consult doctor in such case.
Herpes simplex virus causes the infection herpes labialis, which is highly contagious; (see: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/herpessimplex.html) and especially once a person contacts with it, he is always seeking the answer on to how to get rid of cold sores. As the infection remains in the body for a long time, we must rake all measures to stop its occurrence and prevent its recurrence, and especially to limit its spread to other people.
Watch the above video for another effective way to get rid of cold sores using different kinds of home remedies.
The best way to prevent cold sores is by boosting your immune system. That’s why we recommend this natural remedy product called ImmunityPlus.
Click the bottle to learn more!
Free Ebooks Related to Cold Sores
Heal Sores Balm
• 3 oz almond oil
• 2 tsp pure honey
• ½ oz beeswax
• 1 tsp tea tree oil
Melt all the ingredients together and stir while cooling. Download it here: Lip Balm Recipes!
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June 21, 2013
Cold sore or herpes labialis or fever blisters is a medical condition where groups of small blisters develop on the lips or around the mouth. In simple words, it is the infection of lips caused by a virus named herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1). The blisters are red, swollen and painful; often break open to leak fluid and produce scabs in a few days. Cold sores are usually associated with oral infection or sore throat with HSV-1. Triggers of cold blisters include stress, fever, menstruation, sunburn local skin trauma and dehydration.
The usual treatment of herpes labialis includes topical creams or ointments like penciclovir cream, acyclovir cream and acyclovir ointment . Lipactin gel is also one the topical preparations effective for cold sores . Washing of cold sores with antiseptic soaps, gargling with cold water, avoiding beverages and spicy foods, applying ice or a warm washclot help with and relieves pain caused by cold sores . Another home remedy includes supplementation with L-lysine amino acid. Studies show that L-lysine has an inhibitory effect on the growth of HSV-1 . Thus, lysine supplements with diet helps avoiding recurrent infection with herpes virus. No doubt, the article is very informative.
1. Mckeough MB, Spruance SL. Comparison of new topical treatments for herpes labialis: efficacy of penciclovir cream, acyclovir cream, and n-docosanol cream against experimental cutaneous herpes simplex virus type 1 infection. Arch Dermatol 2001;137(9):1153-8.
2. Louis Widmer [Internet]. Lipactin gel [Updated 2013; cited 2013 June 21]. Available from: http://www.louis-widmer.at/en_AT/our-products/dermatologica/herpes-simplex/rlipactin-gel/.
3. PubMed Health [Internet]. Herpes-oral [Updated 2012, Oct 14; cited 2013, June 21]. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001631/.
4. Milman M, Scheibel J, Jessen O. Lysine prophylaxis in recurrent herpes simplex labialis: a double-blind, controlled crossover study. Acta Derm Venereol 1980; 60(1): 85-7.
June 21, 2013
Thank you for such a detailed report! Your comments regarding cold sores and remedies are very helpful.
March 16, 2017
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May 21, 2017
Treatment Options for Managing Genital Herpes – WebMD