Otherwise called as Fever Blisters, Cold Sores are characterized by the formation of sores in and around the nose or mouth. Lasting anywhere between 1-2 weeks, a cold sore is caused by an infection from the Herpessimplex Virus Type I which remains dormant in the body (inside the nerve cells) for the most part. When aggravated by triggers like sub burn, anxiety, stress or cold etc. the virus causes an infection which would lead to the formation of cold sores.
The bad thing about cold sores is that they keep coming back no matter what you do. There is no permanent cure to the problem and the sores themselves are pretty hard to treat or control. However, the intensity of the cold sores and their symptoms can be reduced to a great extent with the help of certain home remedies. So if you get cold sores on a regular basis, here are some sure shot remedies that can help you out!
Simple And Effective Home Remedies For Cold Sores
Avoid Sun Exposure
Too much exposure to the sun can aggravate existing sores and lead to the formation of new ones. So make it a point to shield the sores from the harsh rays of the sun as much as possible.
If you really need to step out, dab some sunscreen onto the sores (and over the rest of your lips as well) to keep them subdued. Opt for a good quality sunscreen with at least a SPF factor of 15 or above for desirable results.
Place Some Ice Packs On The Sores
One of the best ways to stop a cold sore from progressing into a bigger infection is to place some ice cubes on the sore as and when you notice the initial symptoms. A cold compress would also do the trick of subduing the effect of a cold sore.
You can also opt for popsicles, but avoid the ones that contain acids which can aggravate the sores. Alternatively, you can also choose to gulp down ice cold smoothies, slushes and other drinks, making sure you drench the cold sores in them for extended relief.
Leave The Sores Alone
If you get a cold sore, keep your hands away from it. Picking, prodding, stabbing or scratching a cold sore would only worsen it and intensify the symptoms of the condition (like pain, swelling, itching and irritation etc.). Worse, it can cause the sore to break and cause secondary bacterial infection.
Apply Some Lemon Balm Over The Cold Sores
If you can’t get your hands on lemon balm, opt for its extract. Dabbing a small amount of either lemon balm or its extract on a cold sore can effectively reduce the pain, irritation and swelling that accompanies the condition.
Furthermore, lemon balm has potent healing properties that helps to contain the infection and quicken the healing process.
Dab Some Milk On The Cold Sores
Applying some cold milk on the cold sores can effectively reduce the intensity of a cold sore and cut short its existence. Dip a small cotton ball into a bowl of ice cold milk and dab the cotton on the cold sore. Repeat the same for about 10 minutes for relief and continue the same at regular intervals throughout the day for extended relief.
Apply Some Salt Over The Cold Sores
Guaranteed that this particular remedy would literally have you in tears by the time you are finished with it! However, salt can effectively reduce the intensity of a cold sore and its symptoms. Better yet, salt can help get rid of cold sores for extended periods.So take a huge breath and apply some salt over the cold sores.
The best way to do this is to wet your finger a bit, dip it in fine salt and then place it directly above the cold sore. Press down on the cold sore gently for about a minute until the blisters absorb the salt. Follow this procedure at regular intervals throughout the day for quick and effective relief from the cold sores and their symptoms.
Eat Foods That Contain Lysine
A protein called Lysine is known to contain arginine, another protein that is considered to be very instrumental in the development of cold sores and the herpes virus that causes them. Eating foods containing high amounts of lysine can help control this by replacing the arginine in the virus cells, thereby hindering its ability to multiply.
Some of the best known sources of lysine in foods include milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products. While you are at it though, you may also want to reduce the intake of foods containing arginine for quicker and more effective results. Some of the foods you need to eliminate in this category include chocolates, nuts, grains and seeds etc.
Cold sores can easily be aggravated by chemicals found in cleansing and makeup products. So make it a point to avoid wearing makeup (at least where the cold sore is located) until the sores heal completely. That would essentially include lipsticks and synthetic lip balms as well.
Chew On A Licorice Whip
Chewing on a licorice whip can effectively stop the formation of cold sores and get rid of the virus causing the infection as well. So stop by at the local department store and see if you can get some licorice candy to chew on.
Opt for products that contain real licorice (the label would read ‘licorice mass’) rather than opting for those that contain anise as the latter would not have much effect on the cold sores.
Avoid Immediate Contact With The Sores
Cold Sores can be very contagious and can easily spread to other parts of the body (or to other individuals) with just a single touch. Make it a point to wash your hands immediately after touching the sore.
Keep a hand sanitizer handy for such purposes. Keep your cups, towels, toiletries and other essentials to yourself. Avoid sharing with others if you or the other person have cold sores.
Other Effective Home Remedies You Can Try Out
Rubbing some alcohol over the cold sores can effectively reduce the intensity of a cold sore and prevent recurrences to an extent. You can also opt to apply some fingernail polish over the cold sores to dry them out quickly. Rubbing some Listerine over the cold sores can cause the blisters to dry out and fall away in a relatively short span of time.
Alternatively, you can opt to place a damp tea bag over the cold sores for about 10 minutes at regular intervals throughout the day, or mix some instant coffee powder with water and apply the paste over the cold sore for immediate relief.