Cold sores are also called fever blisters. They are small red, swollen groupings or lesions that mostly appear on the lips, cheeks, and chin.
What causes cold sores?
Cold sores are caused by a virus known as herpes simplex virus. This strain of the virus is highly contagious and can be transmitted from one person to another through close contact.
The virus can enter the body and remain dormant. It requires a trigger for it to appear.
Some individuals may suffer from cold sores in one occurrence only while others may suffer several re-occurrences.
Symptoms of cold sores
- Blisters on the area around the mouth
- Swollen lips and glands
- Sore throat
Stages of cold sores
- A burning sensation that starts around the mouth indicating an outbreak
- Sores filled with fluid appear on the lips while glands start to swell.
- The sores burst and release the fluid.
- A crust covers over the wound and later drops off leaving a pink area that heals and clears.
Home remedies for cold sores:
The aloe vera gel is a natural remedy for many skin problems. Applying it to the cold sore will relieve the sensitivity and protect the sore from bacterial infection. It is recommended that you apply it 3-4 times a day.
Licorice is one of the best cold sore remedies.
It is a powerful root with anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. Glycyrrhizin, an acid found in licorice has been found to have the ability to control and kill herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores.
To get maximum benefits from licorice, you should use it in powder form. Mix it with petroleum jelly and apply on the sore ideally before sleeping or leave it for some hours during the day.
Lemon balm oil
Lemon balm oil is also among the most recommended cold sore remedies.
What is special about this oil?
The oil has been found to have anti-viral properties that kill the virus causing cold sores. This means that it is an effective treatment for cold sores.
With this remedy, you need to apply it in the first stage of cold sore which is when you feel the burning sensation. This way, you could even prevent the cold sores from forming or lessen the severity of the sore.
After applying the oil, put some ice on it and let it sit for 10 minutes. When you are done with icing, apply some petroleum jelly on top of it to prevent cracking.
It is recommended that you repeat the process several times a day to make the remedy effective.
Tea tree oil
The essential oil has anti-septic and anti-biotic properties that help the sore to heal without acquiring any infection.
Stress is a big trigger of cold sores. To avoid constant outbreaks, it is important to reduce stress and find ways to relax.
You can find relaxation by doing any of the following:
Engaging in exercise releases feel-good hormones that help calm your nerves. Try jogging, brisk walking or enjoy a good game of tennis with friends.
Take green tea
Green tea helps the body and mind to relax. Make drinking green tea a daily habit for the best results.
Meditation allows you to find peace in silence and engage your inner spirit for calmness. Try meditation every time you feel anxious about your engagements and life in general.
Take chamomile tea
Chamomile has soothing effects on the body and mind. Make it your tea of choice to help you relax whenever you need extra love.
Used tea bags are old remedy from centuries ago and are still one of the best cold sore remedies.
At the first itch or sign of an outbreak, apply a used teabag on the site and keep it on for about 10 minutes.
For effective use, repeat about 3-4 times a day.
If applying after the outbreak, the tea bag will help ease the pain and speed up the healing.
Hydrogen peroxide is a versatile cleansing agent. It can be used to clean the cold sore to avoid any infection. The cleaner the sore remains, the faster it will heal.
It also helps in the drying and healing process of the sore.
Swabbing a clean cotton swab with the liquid and holding it on the sore should ease the pain. Repeating the process as often as possible will help with healing and reduction of swelling.
This is an old remedy that has been used for generations as one of the cold sore remedies.
Mix cornstarch with a little water to make a paste. Apply it on the sore several times a day to ease the pain. Due to its PH neutralizing effect, the inflammation and discomfort on the sores are reduced.
It has anti-microbial properties that can be used to reduce swelling and accelerate healing. You can apply garlic paste on the cold sores for effective healing.
It is also possible to use fresh garlic and put it on the sores until you find relief. Garlic juice is available for those who may prefer to use a swab in the application of garlic.
The virus thrives in warm areas and that explains why it is found near and inside of the mouth. Should you catch the cold sore in the initial stage, by using ice cubes, you can stop the cold sores from appearing.
You should apply an ice cube on the area until it all melts. Repeat the process every 15 minutes for a few hours until the discomfort is gone.
These wide arrays of remedies are meant to arrest the cold sores, ease the discomfort and help in healing. Find a remedy that can work for you and use it to get rid of the nasty cold sores.