Cold Sores Home Remedies that Work
What are some
effective cold sores home remedies that I can try?
Cold sore is caused by herpes simplex virus 1 and it is very contagious. When you get that notorious tingle on your lips, this is a good sign that a cold sore (also known as a fever blister) is about to breakout.
Then you then get stressed out over how ugly it would look as well as the pain you might have to endure. This stress further weakens your immune system, making the sores heal slower.
In under a week, the blisters break open and liquid oozes out. During the healing phase, an ugly yellow hard crust forms over the broken blisters and this takes several weeks for it to completely heal over.
Thank goodness that once the fever blister is completely healed, it does not leave any scars or marks.
Below is a list of useful cold sores home remedies that can help to reduce the pain and speed up the healing process...
Use an ice cube or a cold compress on the cold sore to give you relief from pain or discomfort. Even ice popsicles or smoothies would work.
But avoid fruit juices since their acidic content can irritate the sores more.
Drinking milk won't really help but dabbing some milk on the cold sore with a cotton ball can give you pain relief. It's best to use it as soon as you get the tingling sensation.
Anesthetic Creams and Gels
For severe discomfort or pain, consider using some non-prescription anesthetic creams or gels.
They can be purchased from any pharmacies. It's a good idea to have a tube on hand for those times when the pain is really bad.
Keeping Toothbrushes Clean
Some experts believe that the toothbrush carries a lot of germs. They are likely right. Think about it. After brushing your teeth, do you wash your toothbrush with soap and water? No!
You just rinse it and stick it back in the toothbrush holder. Strange eh?
Heck, you wash your face, hands and clothing with soap and water. Why not your toothbrush? Good questions. Not really sure...
Back to the point. Change your toothbrush just before your cold sores appear and after it is healed.
Of course, you can also simply soak your toothbrush overnight in a 70% alcohol and rinse off in the morning. This will kill off all the viruses and germs. You can buy this rubbing alcohol at most pharmacies.
Many people discover that stressful situations (at work or at home) seem to be linked to cold sores outbreaks. Indeed this the case of many people. Stress does not cause cold sores but does trigger the virus to multiple.
We won't discuss it here because our detailed article Stress Management Tips give you many ways to cut down on your stress levels.
Keep hands away from the fever blisters
Don't touch the fever blisters! You can accidentally spread it to other parts of your body such as your genitals and eyes. No touchy!
Wash your hands frequently of course.
Avoid using lip gloss or lipstick
This should be obvious. Why spread the virus back on to your lip gloss or lipstick?
If you must, use a Q-tip to transfer the lip gloss or lipstick to your lips and through it away immediately. Do not spread the virus back to your lipstick.
Moreover, some of the chemicals found in the lipsticks can further irritate the cold sores. It's best to just use a lip balm with a sunscreen built in.
This is especially true for those who find that exposing the lip to the sun triggers an outbreak of cold sores.
Boost your immune system
Since it is known that a person with a low immune system seems to be more prone to cold sores outbreaks, it make sense to keep your immune system as high as possible.
A combination herbal product like ImmunityPlus can be helpful in boosting your immune system. It can (and should be) used in addition to all the suggested cold sores home remedies.
For a list of herbs and supplements that works to boost the immune system, see our detailed article Immune System Boosters.
Don't share cups, plates, utensils or bathroom towels
This is one of the obvious cold sores home remedies tip.
Don't share. This is especially the case with cups. Do you know which part of the mouth the cup touches when you drink?
Keep a separate face towel just for yourself. Although your mom taught you to share, this is definitely not the time to do so. (Besides, do you really want to share your germs with others??)
Better, only use your face towel once and put it to wash. Don't use it more than once if possible.
Don't give it to your partner. The virus easily spreads. You can tell your partner that you will make it up afterwards...
Foods to eat more of
In addition to trying various cold sores home remedies, your diet plays an important part as well.
There is a growing body of research that shows a diet high in lysine blocks the growth and spread of viruses.
Some example of foods rich in lysine include:
See the article Foods High in Lysine for a complete list of foods to eat. (By the way, it's a very detailed list.)
You may also want to consider taking lysine supplements. See the article Health Benefits of Lysine to discover how this amino acid can help fight off cold sores viruses.
Foods to avoid
Foods high in lysine blocks the virus from spreading but foods high in arginine causes the virus to spread. Yikes!
It is best to avoid the following foods that are rich in arginine:
- Peanuts (and other nuts)
- Soy beans
Also avoid sugar, deep fried foods, spicy foods, alcohol and coffee if possible.
So the secret is to eat a diet high in lysine and low in arginine.
The article Foods High in Lysine also shows you the amount of arginine in a variety of foods. Moreover, it will tell you the ratio between these two amino acids.
Final thoughts on cold sores home remedies tips
You can't cure cold sores. The virus stays in your cells for the rest of your life. The trick is to keep the virus dormant (in the resting phase) for as long as possible.
By following one (and preferably many) of these cold sores home remedies suggestions, you will be on your way to getting rid of your fever blisters quickly.
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Related Articles and Resources on Cold Sores Home Remedies
- Effective Natural Immune System Booster
Immune System Boosters - Herbs that Work
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