Cold Sores (also known as fever blisters) are small fluid-filled blisters that form on the lips or mouth. These blisters can quite often be very painful and usually take anywhere from a few days to 2 weeks to disappear.
The unusual thing about cold sores is that, unlike most viral infections, the Herpes Simplex Virus 1 is not completely eliminated by the body defenses after the original cold sore disappears, which means that it lays dormant and can be re-activated by certain triggers in the future.
(Herpes Simplex Virtus 1 is a different strain of the herpes virus that causes genital herpes).
While cold sores are fairly common they are also very contagious. Do your best to keep your fingers away from the cold sore and do not touch or play with it because, in some instances, you can actually get very painful cold sores on your hands as well.
Listed below are some home remedies to help soothe cold sores as well as some things you can do to avoid getting them in the future.
Possible Causes of Cold Sore,
* Kissing someone who is already infected (sometimes a person is contagious even if there is not yet visible evidence of blisters)
* Quite often a child can get it from a parent or vice versa
* Using an infected toothbrush
* Sharing a drinking glass or utensils that have been infected
Possible Triggers of Future Cold Sores (after having already had the original virus in the past)
* Sunlight exposure (especially on the lips)
* Fatigue or Stress
* Other infections, such as a cold or influenza
* Some food allergies
* Dental treatment or an injury to the lips or gums
* A weak or impaired immune systems
* Some cosmetic surgeries such as laser skin resurfacing or dermabrasion
* Pregnancy and/or possible hormonal changes in women brought on by their menstrual cycle
Possible Symptoms of Chapped Lips,
* Pain around mouth or lips
* Numbness, tingling, burning or itching on your lips or skin around your mouth
* A sore throat
* Swollen glands in neck or other parts of the body
* Possible drooling (in small children)
Home Remedies for Cold Sores
There are certain things you can do as soon as you feel a cold sore coming on that can prevent both its severity and speed up its healing time.
* Tea Bag Treatment
Apply a damp teabag to the area where the outbreak typically occurs. Leave it on for 10 minutes. Do this at least three or four times a day.
* Lemon Balm
You can also apply a lemon balm ointment to the area. Cold Sore Relief is a well known lemon balm but you can use others that you find at your local health store.
It has been found that if you apply a water based zinc solution the moment you feel the tingling of a cold sore coming on that it will actually speed healing.
Zinc Gluconate is kinder to the skin than Zinc Sulfate so you should opt for that version if you can. You can find Zinc Gluconate in most health stores or online. If you cannot find it, the sulfate version will work as well.
Try chewing a licorice whip. Licorice contains glycyrrhizic acid that is a great fighter of the herpes virus and can speed up healing time. It is important to find “real” licorice however. Be sure to find licorice that contains “licorice mass” in it s ingredients as opposed to “anise” which is found in most candied licorice.
Warning : Real licorice can increase blood pressure so do not take if you have high blood pressure and do not take it for extended periods of time.
* Baby Aspirin
It is also been found that taking a baby aspirin once a day with food can help with both pain and healing time when it comes to cold sores.
* Petroleum Jelly or Vaseline
You can protect a cold sore from cracking by keeping it moist with petroleum jelly. Simply use a cotton swab to gently apply jelly to the cold sore. Be sure not to dip back into the jelly with the same swab and try not to use your finger if at all avoidable.
* Apply Ice
Ice can both help reduce the swelling and provide temporarily relief from the pain. Just be sure to wrap ice in a washcloth or protective barrier. Do not apply ice directly to skin.
* Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera creams are great for many home remedies and they can speed up the healing time of cold sores as well. Apply the aloe vera cream three times a day for five days during the outbreak.
* Change your toothbrush
Your toothbrush can harbor the herpes virus for days possibly re-infecting you again. Change your toothbrush the minute you feel a cold sore coming on then change it again after the blister develops and breaks. This will help to prevent you from developing multiple sores.
* Change your toothpaste
Toothpaste can also transmit the virus. Switch to a small travel size toothpaste the minute you feel a cold sore coming on – then switch it again after the blister develops and breaks.
* Hand Sanitizer
It is important not to touch your eyes or genital area if for whatever reason you have touched your cold sore. Be sure to wash hands anytime you might have touched it or keep hand sanitizer handy in case a sink is not available.
Be Sure to Visit Our Sister Sites
*While this site is dedicated to Home Remedies, there might be a rare occasion where you might need a little help from an outside source. The following are some other products or procedures that you can try if your situation is a little more severe and these home remedies aren’t quite doing the trick.