Cold Sores

Cold sores are an unaesthetic condition that appear around the lips, mouth, and in some cases, even in the genital area. They manifest at first like a blister filled with a transparent liquid. Swelling and redness of the affected areas is often accompanied by a burning sensation. After a while, the blister brakes, releasing the fluid and making a scab. This may be the worst part of cold sores, as it is very hard to cover a scab. It may take up to two weeks to completely heal. It is a condition no one likes to have, and once it happens, we would do anything to make it invisible.

The main culprit of cold sores is the herpes simplex virus, or HSV. There are some of us who are lucky and have immunity to the virus’s symptoms. Even if these people come in contact with it, they will not develop a cold sore. The HSV virus comes in two versions, HSV 1 and 2. Now, both can cause cold sores if they enter our organism. As mentioned, the lesions can appear around the mouth or our genital area. But regardless of where the sores appear, they are as bothering as any sore can be.

The easiest way to get the virus is to get in direct contact with a sore, or the fluid inside the sore. This can happen by sharing personal hygiene items like razors, or coming into contact with the saliva of an infected person, as through kissing. Kissing should also concern parents that have cold sores, as they can easily transmit the virus to their children through an innocent kiss. The cold sore will not appear suddenly since its manifestations are announced by some early symptoms. Pain around your mouth or lips can be present. You may also experience a sore throat, swollen glands, and even fever. After the blister brakes and the crust is formed, the sore will usually pass on its own after a while. Still, cold sores can be very painful in some cases, not to mention the embarrassment they make us feel. The best part is that they can be treated. There are many cold sore remedies you can use at home, to diminish the effects of this unwanted condition.

What to do if you notice a cold sore coming on

If you start seeing redness and swelling on your lips and around your mouth, using a cold wet towel can help reduce the symptoms. Use the towel method three times a day, each session lasting about 20 minutes, where you keep the towel on the sore. In case you are experiencing a bothersome pain, taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen will help you feel better. For cases in which you have to deal with a sore mouth, use mouthwash with baking soda to rinse the area. Also, you may want to avoid fruits and legumes that have an acidic juice, like tomatoes or citrus, until the cold sore is healed. They might cause you serious discomfort in the affected area. There are creams and ointments that can be bought over the counter, to help you speed up the healing process of a cold sore.

Cold sore remedies can be found around the house

Still, you should know that there are things around the house as well that can help you to get rid of cold sores in a natural and safe manner. Do you want to know how to get rid of cold sores without turning to medicine? There are many natural cold sore remedies that are quite pleasant and give results. With a pure and high-quality vanilla extract and a cotton swab, you can make cold sores disappear. You just need to soak the cotton swab well in the extract and apply it on the sore for about one minute. You will have to repeat the treatment four times each day until the cold sore is gone. Milk is probably something you always have around the house and it can also help you to reduce the sore and pain. You just need to take a cotton ball and soak it in about one tablespoon of milk. You can use the milk cold or at room temperature, according to your preferences. Keep the cotton ball with milk on the sore for a few minutes, and use a clean towel to clean the excess.

What to do after an outbreak

You may also want to know that it is highly recommended to throw away your toothbrush after the blister of the cold sore breaks. These personal hygiene items are notorious for spreading the virus, and you want to avoid a possible recurrent cold sore episode. Also, keep your hands away from the cold sore’s crust. There are various reasons why you shouldn’t bother the crust once it is formed. First of all, bacteria can get underneath it, and may get you a nasty infection. And, you should keep in mind, that touching it is highly contagious. If you scrape it with your fingers and by accident and you rub your eyes with the same hand, you may easily spread the virus throughout the body. This is the last thing you want to do.,/

How to avoid developing cold sores

Now that you know a couple of cold sore remedies, here is what you can do to avoid developing them, or at least ways to develop them as rarely as possible. You should keep your lips away from the sun, especially for prolonged periods, by using a special lip balm with sunscreen. Also, keep your face away from the sun if possible. The best way to stay safe is to avoid having intimate contact with individuals that have cold sores, or even genital herpes. Be careful of what you eat, because some foods may be responsible for triggering cold sores. If you have recurrent episodes, it may be due to something you eat rather frequently. Never share personal hygiene items, like razors, toothbrushes, towels, and even silverware, with anybody else, especially if you know that person suffering from cold sores.