Cold sores can be painful, irritating, and prove to be a damper on your looks. This is because cold sores mostly appear on the face, around the mouth and lips. These sores are caused by a virus infection-the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV).
The causes and cures of cold sores
Cold sores, also sometimes called fever blisters, are mainly caused by HSV Type 1, but sometimes, HSV Type 2 may also be the cause. Most people are said to suffer from cold sores at least once in their lifetime.
They appear as blisters which break after some days and ooze. They then turn into scabs. When these crusts or scabs fall off, the sore is healed, and new skin appears in its place. Cold sores usually last from 7 to 10 days.
Cold sores are contagious and spread by direct contact or through the use of items like towels, plates, etc., that the infected person has used. They can spread to other people and also to other parts of your body until the sores are completely dry and scabs start to appear.
The first attack of cold sores is the most painful, sometimes accompanied by fever. After the initial attack, many people develop antibodies against it and do not suffer from more cold sores. However, a large number of people suffer from repeated cold sores as they do not develop resistance to it.
Cold sores effects
Cold sores are not a very serious condition, and they heal by themselves within ten days. However, in some cases, they might have very adverse effects. In some children, cold sores can cause a critical illness. Those who have low immunity, like AIDS patients or those who suffer from impaired immunity as a result of other illnesses or due to side effects of medications can be badly affected. It can even become life threatening condition.
If you touch a cold sore and then touch another part of your body, it could spread there. These blisters, if they spread to the eyes can cause blindness. If it spreads to the brain, it can even cause meningitis.
Best cold sore remedies
You should clean the affected area and avoid touching other people until the sores are healed. If children are affected by cold sores, keep them isolated for a few days. Do not let other children play with the affected child’s toys. Once the sores are healed, clean the toys and other items the child used with disinfectant.
You can take some OTC medications to help the sores heal faster and to reduce pain. Try taking an Ibuprofen medicine like Advil or an NSAID that can prevent inflammation and pain. Some topical applications like Zilactin can heal the sores fast.
You can take measures to prevent cold sores, like limiting the time your lips are directly exposed to sunlight. Stay away from foods that might trigger an outbreak, like chocolates, nuts, etc. Do not share personal belongings of a person with cold sores. Take Vitamin E and C supplements. Vitamin C boosts the count of white blood cells, the body’s first defense against infections. Vitamin E helps repair damaged skin.
Best Cold Sore Remedies
Lemon Balm: This is a herb that belongs to the mint family. Use a lip balm that contains lemon oil. Lemon herbal tea can also help and even prevent further occurrences of cold sores. This is one of the best cold sore remedies.
Ice Treatment: The sores can hurt. Place some ice cubes on the area until they melt. Then use a clean towel to pat your face dry. Now, apply a little bit of petroleum jelly to keep out other microorganisms.
Peppermint: Peppermint not only keeps your breath fresh, but it can also help fight off an attack of cold sores. Peppermint can kill the freely floating virus. Mix a little peppermint oil in fresh, clean water and use a cotton swab to apply it on the sores. This is one of the best cold sore remedies.
Include Foods with Vitamins C and E: Eating foods that are rich in vitamins, especially vitamins E and C can help cure the sores and also prevent future outbreaks. Include red berries, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, nuts, leafy vegetables, and whole grains in your diet.
Milk Can Cure Cold Sores: Milk contains immunoglobulins that can help combat virus infections. It also contains L-Lysine, an essential amino acid that can cure cold sores. Also, use it as an external topical application on the cold sores. This is one of the best cold sore remedies.
Aloe Vera Gel: Do you have an aloe plant in your home? Break off a leaf, and apply the gel to your sores. You can also buy aloe gel and use it. It soothes the irritation caused by the cold sores.
Cornstarch Paste: Cornstarch paste applied on the sores can neutralize the pH of the sores. It makes the area more alkaline, and this prevents the virus from proliferating. Mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with water and apply this mix on the sore. Then rinse it off. This is one of the best cold sore remedies.
Use Witch Hazel: Witch hazel has many medicinal properties. Buy a bottle of witch hazel hydrosol, and dab it on the cold sore with a cotton swab.
These are some of the best cold sore remedies. you can try to Youl or reduce the effects of cold sores. You should also throw away the toothbrush you used when the breakout started. Never try to break the sores with your hands as they might spread. Wash items that you used during the breakout using a disinfectant. Protect your skin against sun damage and use sunscreens with SPF.