Signs and Symptoms of Cold Sores
Cold Sores, sometimes also known as Fever Blisters, are small blisters that usually appear around the outside of your lips or mouth, and occasionally on your nose or cheeks. They are often very itchy and tend to cause a stinging sensation. They typically last for 7 to 10 days, and they sometimes ooze fluid or
form a yellow colored crust. Cold sores are very common, with about 20 to 40 percent of the population experiencing cold sores at least once in their lifetime.
Some people experience a sense of tiredness or fatigue one or two days before the recurrence of a cold sore. Others feel a tingling or numbness at the site of the future outbreak. Although there is no cure once a cold sore develops, the home remedies listed below can help to ease the pain and discomfort that is often associated with them.
Causes of Cold Sores
Cold Sores are caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). Once you have been exposed to this virus
you are infected for life. Infection usually occurs when the virus enters through small breaks in
the skin, possibly at the site of injury small cracks in the skin.
If you have the virus, cold sores can develop due to a variety of reasons:
- Emotional and physical stress
- Colds or other respiratory infections
- Exposure to the sun or wind without protection
- Hormone changes such as during menstruation
- Share personal care products with an infected person
Home Remedies and Natural Treatments for Cold Sores
Cold Sores Home Remedy Using Whole Milk
A compress using whole milk can help ease the pain associated with a cold sore, as well as help to speed up the healing process.
- Let a glass of whole milk sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
- Soak a cloth into the milk and place the compress onto the cold sore.
- Keep the compress on the cold sore for 10 minutes
- Remove the compress and rinse the milk to avoid a sour smell.
Cold Sores Home Remedy Using Lysine
Lysine is an amino acid that counteracts arginine, which is another amino acid that is used
by the Herpes Simplex Virus to replicate itself. Therefore, for people that experience frequent
cold sores (more than 2 or 3 per year), lysine supplements of 2000 to 3000mg per day are recommended in order to inhibit the virus. Lysine supplments can be found in most health food stores.
It is also recommended that you limit your intake of foods that are high in arginine, such as chocolate, cereals, cashews, peanuts, cola, beer, and foods containing gelatin.
Cold Sores Home Remedy Using Lemon Balm
Lemon balm, also known as Melissa officinalis, has antiviral properties and has been found to be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of cold sore outbreaks. A study published in the Journal of Phytomedicine found that a cream containing lemon balm extract was effective in reducing the healing time of cold sores 1(Koytchev et al., 1999).
Cold Sores Home Remedy Using Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil has antiviral properties and has been found to be effective in reducing the duration of cold sores. A study published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy found that tea tree oil was effective against HSV-1, the virus that causes cold sores.
An effective remedy is to dip a cotton swab into a mix of equal amounts of Tea Tree oil and Coconut oil and gently apply it onto the cold sore. Avoid licking on the affected lip area . Use this mix once a day until the cold sore is healed. 2(Carson et al., 2001).
Natural Treatment for Cold Sores Using Ice
Ice cubes are a great way to ease the pain associated with a cold sore. Simply rub an ice cube directly onto the cold sore for a few minutes when it first begins to appear. Repeat this every 10 minutes for about an hour or so.
Using Aloe Vera as a Remedy for Cold Sores
Aloe Vera has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties and has been found to be effective in reducing the duration of cold sores. A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that a cream containing aloe vera extract was effective in reducing the healing time of cold sores.
3(Syed et al., 1997).
Also the juice from an aloe plant can help ease the pain from a cold sore. Simply rub aloe juice directly onto the infected area for some fast relief. Aloe gels or creams can also be used instead of fresh aloe juice.
Home Remedy for Cold Sores Using Echinacea
Echinacea is a plant that has immune-boosting properties and has been found to be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of cold sore outbreaks. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology found that echinacea was effective in inhibiting the replication of HSV-1. 4 (Binns et al., 2002).
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