Cold sores just happen to be one of life's little annoyances. when you have one, tasks such as talking or eating seem too painful to do when dealing with a cold sore. Not to be mistaken for canker sores, cold sores are a different virus strain that has very similar symptoms. There are simple tips to properly id a cold sore, treat naturally or with prescription and prevention tips to help you deal less with these painful ailments.
What Is A Cold Sore?
A cold sore or also commonly known as a fever blister is a small blister or even in tiny clusters. Cold sores are caused by a virus strain called, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). This strain is so common that approximately 8 out of 10 adults is a carrier, In fact most people come in contact with the virus in childhood. This virus can be passed through saliva contact (i.e. sharing drinks, kissing or sharing utensils). Once infected with the virus, a breakout can occur throughout a lifetime with varying degrees of severity.
What are the Symptoms?
The symptoms of a cold sore resemble that of a canker; but, they differ in some aspects which makes them unique. Some symptoms of a typical cold sore are:
- Found on the lips, tongue or inside the mouth
- Blisters that break or ooze pus or blood
- Sore throat
- Tingling, burning or itching sensation when touched
- Weakened immune system
From the first occurrence of a symptom, a cold sore will usually clear up within 7-10 days. Although they clear up on their own, there are simple remedies that can help symptoms clear up more quickly.
Home Remedy Solutions
When it comes to mild cases of cold sores, there are a number of home remedies that can be made with as little as a few ingredients or even a single ingredient. These ingredients can be found in most kitchens and take minutes to make while making a huge difference. Here are a few remedies that can help sores fade almost overnight!
Known for its brightening qualities and anti bacterial qualities, this ingredient has the power to help squash the symptoms of the herpes virus. This particular balm is a type of mint that has been used for insect bites, inflammation or stinging ailments. It contains active ingredients such as terpens and eugenol which are both known to calm over active nerves by numbing them and bacteria killing qualities.
To get most effective results, place one to two drops on area and repeat this process morning and night at the first sight of a cold sore.
As is common knowledge, ice has numbing qualities that can help temporarily relieve the stinging of a cold sore. There is no wrong way to use this treatment and you can't overdo it because it is au natural. The cold stemming from the ice, slows down pain signals within nerves within your mouth. With this cold, nerve signals are nearly halted and cannot “jump” between synapses to send pain signals to the central nervous system.
Aloe vera has powerful antioxidants and fatty acids that help repair broken tissues. It's healing properties also aid in burns and help cell turnover to replenish infected cells. To gain the benefits of this multi-purpose healing agent, simply place raw aloe vera gel with a cotton swab throughout the day.
Not only does salt water help relieve pain and swelling associated with cold sores, it also helps kill off the bacteria that irritates the mouth. Initially this treatment might be painful upon contact. Salt helps in the following ways: it kills bacteria on contact and draws out moisture to help dry out cold sores. The best way to use this treatment is to gargle with warm water and 1-2 teaspoons for 30 seconds to a minute.
If you have reoccurring cold sores that take longer to go away when compared to the average 7-10 days; a prescription may be an option. There are a number of prescription strength creams that can help one clear up quicker.
- Valtrex: Contains valacyclovir (antiviral)
- Zovirax: Contains acyclovir to reduce number of future breakouts, decreases pain and itching
- Abreva: Contains docosnaol that prevents the virus from entering healthy cells and growing
There are simple tips that can help reduce the number of outbreaks that you may experience; as well as the severity of them.
- Replace toothbrush every 3 months or after a breakout
- Avoid sharing utensils, glasses or kissing until breakout has cleared
- Reduce stress (this triggers breakouts)
- Avoid using lip products (i.e makeup, lip balm until breakout clears up)
- Wash hands often