The term cold sore might be new to you yet to 90% of the population cold sores are quite a popular health condition. Most people get a cold sore during their lifetime and 40% of the American adults experience it repeatedly. What are cold sores and what can you do to treat them? Let’s find out more.
Unlike canker sores which involve only the mucous membrane and are not contagious, cold sores are actually caused by HSV (the herpes simplex virus) and are contagious. This infection can cause only a single cold sore or several which are extremely contagious and can be easily spread to other parts of the body (eyes and genitals included) until it’s scabbed and crusted. The most common areas affected by these fever blisters are the outside of the mouth, cheeks, nose, lips, and fingers and they usually last for 7 to 10 days.
The most popular ways to treat cold sores are antiviral creams and oral medications. Such treatments can indeed reduce their duration by a few days. Cold sores can be treated naturally as well. Opting for natural remedies is not just safe but it’s also inexpensive and will help you boost your immune system as well. Here are a few natural remedies that will help you treat cold sores.
The HSV will attack a body whose immune system is weak. Therefore, in order to avoid such infections and viruses, you need to take care of your immune system. This is your no.1 shield against diseases and viruses. Support and boost it with foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, natto, kimchi, and apple cider vinegar. Add vegetables to your diet as well as they contain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that will help you fight off infections. Plus, drink Echinacea tea. This one works as great immunity system booster. It will also reduce your pain and inflammation.
This vitamin is known for soothing the skin and helping relive pain and discomfort caused by cold sores. It has antioxidant properties, it reduces inflammation and helps repair damaged skin. Therefore, make sure your diet includes foods that contain vitamin E. Go for almonds, spinach, avocados, sweet potatoes, olive oil, and sunflower seeds, just to name a few. You can also opt for a vitamin E supplement.
Vitamin C is probably the most popular immunity-booster. It will not only boost your body’s capacity to keep intruders at bay but it will also support skin health. Include oranges, green peppers, kale, broccoli, strawberries, kiwi, red peppers, and Brussels sprouts into your diet. Boost your vitamin C intake with vitamin C supplements if you can’t have such foods on a daily basis.
The role Zinc plays is to reduce inflammation, boost immunity and promote health. Foods that are rich in zinc include the following: cashew, chicken, salmon, grass-fed beef, chickpeas, and eggs. You can also boost your zinc intake with supplements. They can be found in various forms like capsules, syrups, gels, and lozenges and the zinc contained is either zinc sulfate, zinc acetate or zinc gluconate.
This amino acid will prevent herpes from growing when taken by mouth or applied directly to the skin. It is recommended to take 1,000 milligrams three times a day. Foods that contain L-lysine include turkey, fish, chicken, vegetables, and legumes.
You can also use aloe vera gel in order to treat your cold sore. Thanks to its antioxidant vitamins, enzymes, minerals, hormones, and fatty acids, the use of this natural remedy will help you heal your cold sore and prevent further infection.
Speed up the healing process and reduce the discomfort caused by the cold sore by applying aloe vera gel on the affected area throughout the day.
Since the toothbrush can be a good carrier of the HSV which causes the cold sores, it is recommended to throw it and get a new one. In case you touch your toothpaste tube with the toothbrush, you might want to rid of that one, too, and thus remove the items that can get you a cold sore again.
Since a cold sore is extremely contagious in the first few days and until it crusts over and heals, it is best not to touch it. Keeping your hands off it will stop you from spreading the infection. Put the face towel or cold compresses you use directly into the laundry bin.
This is one of the easiest natural remedies you can use in order to reduce pain and inflammation. Just apply ice cubes or a cold compress to the affected area. This will reduce the blood flow to the sore and, thus, will reduce inflammation and swelling.
Using sunscreen when going out in the sun and avoiding heavy sun exposure are two important steps when trying to reduce the recurrences of your cold sores. Opt for quality sunscreen whenever you go out there. Go for natural sunscreens and avoid the toxic ones which are harmful. Apply organic sunscreen on your lips as well. Go for a lip balm with an SPF value of no less than 15.
The real and pure vanilla extract is a natural and easy way to treat cold sores. Since it is based on alcohol, the vanilla extract makes it hard for the virus to thrive and thus it wipes it or reduces its severity and length of the outbreak.
Just soak a cotton pad in your vanilla oil or extract, apply it to the affected area and hold it in place for a minute or so. Repeat this 4 times a day until the cold sore heals.