Treatment for cold sores
Treatment for cold sores is a kind of palliative approach that aims to reduce the amount of pain and mask cosmetic defects. Doctors usually joking that if they treat cold sore it will go away in a week, but if they don’t’, it will go away in 7 days.
In this article, we’ll discuss different methods of treatment for cold sore and the best treatment for cold sores.
There’s no cure for cold sores, but some people with the herpes simplex virus rarely have outbreaks. When cold sores do develop, there are several ways to treat them.
Cold sores usually clear up by themselves without treatment within 7 to 10 days. However, antiviral creams are available. If used correctly, these can help ease your symptoms and speed up the healing time.
To be effective, these treatments should be applied as soon as the first signs of a cold sore appear – when you feel a tingling, itching, or burning sensation around your mouth. Using an antiviral cream after this initial period is unlikely to have much of an effect.
Another common approach to the treatment for cold sores.
Medications for cold sores
Cold sores can also be treated with oral antiviral medications, such as acyclovir (Zovirax), valacyclovir (Valtrex), and famciclovir (Famvir). These drugs are available by prescription only.
Your doctor may instruct you to take antiviral medications regularly if you’re experiencing complications with cold sores or if your outbreaks are frequent.
However, note that medications cause side effects this is why most people are seeking natural remedies for cold sore.
Cold sores are a very common infection and it has been estimated that 80% percent of the United States population has been exposed to herpes simplex virus, the virus which causes cold sores.
An interesting fact to note – even if a person has been infected with the herpes virus, they may not always experience an epidemic or have an outbreak. This is because the immune systems of certain people can completely suppress the virus.
What is a cold sore?
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). The HSV-1 virus is transmitted from person to person through saliva and even with indirect contact like drinking from the same glass or using the same toothbrush. It is most frequently appear as small blisters on the lips and can be very painful for those who experience them.
It usually occurs inside the mouth and is most frequently found on the gums or hard palate, the roof of the mouth. If the injury appears inside the mouth, especially in soft tissues, is more likely to be thrush, not a cold sore. It may also appear on the fingers, which is called Herpes Whitlow.
Causes of cold sores
Many people asking what causes cold sores. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. There are two types of the herpes simplex virus. The herpes simplex type 1 virus (HSV-1) usually causes cold sores, and the herpes simplex type 2 virus (HSV-2) usually causes genital herpes.
The actual sores are similar in appearance for both forms of the virus. It’s also possible for HSV-1 to cause sores on the genitals and for HSV-2 to cause sores on the mouth.
Visible cold sores are contagious, but they may be spread even when they can’t be seen. You can get the herpes simplex virus by coming in contact with people with the herpes simplex virus. This may happen through kissing, sharing cosmetics, or sharing food. Oral sex may spread both cold sores and genital herpes.
Other causes of cold sores are:
- A cold or other illness
- A fever
- Excessive explosion to sunlight
- Menstrual period
Stages of a cold sore
Cold sore tingling.
Occurring on day one, this stage involves tingling, burning, or itching sensation underneath the skin, usually on the mouth or the nose base area.
Cold sore swelling or blistering.
After two to three days, blisters start to appear on the mouth, lips, or nearby areas.
Cold sore weeping.
After the cold sore swollen stage, the blister ulcerates, opens, and reveals a reddish area. This is perhaps the most painful stage and is most contagious.
Cold sore crusting.
On days 5 to 8, the blisters eventually dry up and form a yellowish or brownish crust.
Cold sore healing.
Within 10 to 14 days, a series of scabs start to form over the sore and heals within two weeks from the very first symptoms felt.
Symptoms of cold sores
There are a large number of cold sore sufferers who do not feel any symptoms at all. The others, on the other hand, may feel a tingling or burning sensation in the areas where an outbreak is supposed to erupt. These may be accompanied by a slight fever, sore throat, gums, and mouth. Generally, symptoms of cold sore infection vary depending on the stage of the cold sore life cycle.
- Itching and tingling in the target area just before the outbreak.
- Swelling of the area along with the formation of small and painful fluid-filled pimple-like blisters.
- A large, open sore develops when these little blisters break and merge.
- Headaches, fever, and swollen lymph glands under the jaw are painfully apparent.
- Yellowish scab forms over the sore and heals without a scar.
Other symptoms of cold sores are:
- Muscle aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
When first infected, these symptoms may not appear for 15 to 20 days – or not at all. Often, initial symptoms are so mild that you may not know you have been infected. These may include fever and sore throat. The herpes virus, for the most part, will lie dormant in your nerve ganglia (the nerve roots) below the skin.
Now, when conditions are right, it will travel to the surface to replicate. The virus, being exceedingly small, will enter a nerve cell. It then takes control and forces the cell to create copies of itself. Once the cell is full, the controlling virus destroys the cell to release the new virus. Millions of such exploded cells nearby cause the swelling and open sore.
Cold sores are contagious during the entire cold sore event. You are extremely contagious once the sore has broken open – until it is healed. The fluid that weeps from the sore is teeming with the active herpes virus. Kiss or touch is the normal means of spreading this virus. If you have a cold sore, be particularly cautious around infants or others. Also, be conscious that if the virus gets in the eye, it can cause cornea blisters. The permanent result is damaged vision.
Natural remedies for cold sores – most popular in treatment for cold sores
If you have ever had a cold sore then you know just how serious they are. These cold sores are known to be small, fluid, and painful blisters that form around the area of the mouth. The cause is the herpes virus and they are quite contagious. Listed below are natural treatments for cold sore that are very effective.
Home remedies for cold sores – widely used natural treatment for cold sores
Home remedies for cold sores are the most popular amongst natural remedies for a cold sore that can be done at home to soothe the sting of a cold sore. Listed below are home remedies for cold sores
- Use petroleum jelly to help cover up the cold sore to give it time to heal. One of the worsening conditions for these sores is a secondary infection, which can occur when bacteria form in the area. By keeping it covered, you avoid this risk.
- Protect your lips from the UV rays of the sun. Using sunscreen on your lips is a home remedy for a cold sore on lips, this can help to slow the re-occurrences of these sores.
- Chew on some licorice. There is an ingredient in it called glycyrrhizic acid that is very effective at stopping the worsening of cold sores. Best of all, all you have to do is to chew on it to get relief. The trick is finding the right type of product. Look at the label to be sure the main ingredient is licorice mass, not any type of candy product with anise flavoring.
- Use ice packs. These can be an effective way of reducing the healing time. You will want to use an ice pack as often as possible on the area, especially when it first develops. You can also get pain relief in this way.
- Another home remedy for cold sore involves a simple application of milk. All you need to do is soak a cotton ball with milk and apply it to the affected area. Milk has a natural soothing agent that can work to stimulate healing and reduce pain. Do this as often as you need to.
- Consider some zinc. You can find lozenges made with zinc. Suck on these and you could see an improvement to your health overall, not to mention relief from the cold sore pain. Zinc helps to stimulate your immune system.
These home remedies for cold sores are known to work effectively and you can use more than one of them at any given time. The most effective way to use them is to apply one of the above treatments at the first sign that the cold sore is developing. By doing this, you reduce the severity of it and you can see improvements to your pain level. Often, these home remedies for cold sores will help you heal faster.
Herbs for cold sores – effective home-based natural treatment for cold sores
Herbs for cold sores are remedies for cold sore that is effective without any side effects. Listed below are herbs for cold sores.
Tea tree oil and aloe vera
These herbs for cold sores can heal the sores fast and efficiently. These are safe medications since they are herbal treatments.
Aloe Vera has this soothing compound that will lessen the sore. Get aloe leaves and use the liquid content inside and rub it slightly on the sore or blister. Do this procedure once in the morning and once in the night.
Melissa officinalis (Lemon Balm) is one of the most popular herbs for cold sores as it is combating the herpes viruses. Melissa officinalis is perfect for either cold sores (HSV-1), genital sores (HSV-2), and even for shingles (herpes zoster).
During winter time always secure a small jar of blended organic Melissa essential oil in your purse apply it to the cold sores break, at the very first moment when you start to experience tingling or itching. In 90% Melissa will stop the further development of cold sores.
Homeopathy for cold sores – #1 natural treatment for cold sores.
Homeopathic remedies for cold sores are natural remedies for cold sores that focus on enhancing the immune system, and they can often greatly speed up healing time.
However, pick the remedy that best matches your symptoms. Listed below are homeopathic remedies for cold sores.
- This homeopathic remedy for cold sore keeps the skin or lips moisturized and speeds up healing.
- This remedy sometimes stops a herpes outbreak if taken in the early, tingling stage. It is also helpful for raw, red cold sores that develop on the lips and corners of the mouth, as well as the nostril area, face, and chin.
- This remedy for cold sore relieves small vesicles filled with a clear liquid on red and painful skin.
- This remedy relieves swollen, itching, burning skin or lips, relieved by cold applications.
- This remedy can be useful for herpes eruptions in any area, with tense-feeling inflammation. Sensitivity to noise and a fear of falling are other indications for Borax.
TCM – ancient Chinese natural treatment for cold sores
It has been seen that acupuncture as a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine is quite effective in treating the symptoms of cold sores. Acupuncture is an age-old treatment method that inserts fine needles into the skin at specific points. Acupuncturists believe that these points are associated with various health problems and facilitate healing. There are around 2,000 points in the body that acupuncturists can use to alleviate symptoms of various diseases.
TCM for cold sores stiumlates endorphin to be released by the body and this has a calming and soothing effect. It allows a person to handle stress and anxiety which often trigger cold sores. According to acupuncturists, when a person is stressed out, the pH level in the body reduces. The acidic environment in the body causes the virus to become active resulting in cold sores. Acupuncture also boosts the immune system of the body and stimulates the production of white blood cells. This helps the body to fight the infection and the virus better. It is also believed that acupuncture encourages more production of different immunoglobulins that prevent the virus from producing antibodies.
So, people who suffer from recurrent outbreaks of cold sores can be benefited from acupuncture. It is important to find a qualified acupuncturist who can help not just to reduce the duration of the outbreak, but also reduce the chances of the blisters recurring. The added benefit of using acupuncture is that the person will be better equipped to handle stress and anxiety.
This acupuncture for cold sores treatment is believed to be highly effective and safe. No side effects are there and it offers instant relief from the discomfort caused by the cold sore blisters.
Cold sores are initiated by a virus and usually lasts for 7 – 10 days. Allopathic treatment for cold sores is palliative and aims only to relieve the pain. Acupuncture and other natural remedies for cold sores are effective and safe. Also, due to the nature of natural remedies for cold sores, they often prevent further episodes of cold sores flare-ups.
For more information and for natural treatment of cold sores contact Philadelphia Acupuncture Clinic and ask Dr. Tsan which holistic technique is best for you.