Natural Remedies for Treating Cold Sores
Cold sores can be very annoying, not to mention unsightly. They can also be very painful, which is one more reason for getting rid of them as quickly as possible. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1, which is usually transmitted through infected saliva. The virus then remains dormant in the facial nerve cells of the body and is activated through stress, anxiety, a cold and overexposure to sunlight. If you have tried conventional medication, consider the following life style and natural home remedies which have found to help many sufferers.
Cover the Cold Sore
This is one of the easiest and quickest ways of getting rid of cold sores. If you cover the cold sore with petroleum jelly, then it will heal much more quickly than normal. This will also help in protecting it from secondary infection from bacteria. You can also apply any anesthetic ointment containing benzocaine to numb it temporarily. Try to avoid applying cosmetics in an effort to camouflage it, as this will most likely make the problem even worse. Also do not share your lipstick or makeup with anyone in order to prevent the infection spreading to others.
Change Your Toothbrush
Your toothbrush may be carrying the infection and so you should change it as soon as the blister forms and when the infection appears to be over.
Cold sores may arise if your lips are too exposed to the sun. Applying sunscreen on your lips can help in reducing the likelihood of the blister forming. A sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher will be ideal for this purpose.
Try not to Touch It
Although it may not be as easy as it sounds, try to avoid touching the infection in order to prevent the infection spreading via your fingers. Do not pick, squeeze or pluck the blister as this may increase the risk of bacterial infection. Cold sores can spread easily from one person to another so you should avoid making contact – this includes avoiding kissing, sharing cups, towels and other items. Ensure that you hands are not carrying the virus by washing them regularly. Also, do not touch the eyes or the genitals after you touch the blister. Keep a hand sanitizer with you in order to reduce bacteria.
Eat More Foods Containing Lysine
When you get a blister you should start eating food that contains high amounts of lysine. Some of the best means of getting lysine are lean meat and dairy products such as yogurt, eggs, milk and cheese.
Avoid Arginine-Rich Foods
Whole grains, seeds, nuts and chocolate contain high amounts of arginine which is a protein used by the virus to manifest its effects in the body.
Eat more healthy foods
The more healthy and nutritious foods you eat, the better the chance of your immune system fighting the virus and preventing the outbreak of blisters. Consider high quality supplements such as multivitamin and vitamin C supplements.
As soon as you feel the blister developing, apply ice on it. This will reduce its size and prevent it from growing bigger.
Applying salt to the sore is going to help you reduce its effects. Apply a mixture of organic sea salt and water with your finger or cotton bud, and massage gently for 30 seconds or so. Leave it to dry. Do this on a regular basis to ensure that it goes away quickly.
Aloe Vera is another thing that you can apply to help the healing process. Apply a few drops of pure aloe vera gel to the blister and leave for at least 30 minutes.
Other Herbal Remedies
You can use herbal remedies to cure the blisters. One of the ways is to apply Saint John’s wart a number of times during the day. Another is to take 1 tsp. of strong Echinacea root 3 times a day. Swish it around in your mouth for 2 to 3 minutes, then swallow it. You can also use chamomile tincture to heal the blister. Its bisabolol content will help in healing the mucus membrane.
It is best to deal with cold sores as soon as possible in order to prevent the infection getting worse and spreading. It is best to visit your medical practitioner if the condition persists.