How to Treat a Cold Sore

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How to Treat a Cold Sore

Also known as fever blisters, cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (For herpes simplex virus treatments, read how to get rid of herpes simplex), and can affect almost anybody. It appears around the mouth, and can be painful and unsightly, but the good thing is it can be cured. Here’s how to treat cold sore effectively.

What You’ll Need:

  • Ice
  • Soap and water
  • Medications and pain killers
  • Healthy food
  • Warm or cold compress

Stop It Even Before It Begins

The best way to treat a cold sore is to stop it, even before it appears and develops. A cold sore begins with a tingly feeling. As soon as you feel this, get some ice, put it in a towel and place it against the tingly area for several minutes. Repeat this at least five times a day, and you’ll see that the sore will never develop.

Take Medications

There are some medical treatments readily available to cure the sore. Since the problem comes from a virus, you can’t cure it using an antibiotic. Instead, get an antiviral medication. Your doctor can prescribe you some antiviral remedies that will prevent you from passing the virus, and will help suppress outbreaks. One example of an effective cold sore medicine is Abreva, which reduces the outbreak’s severity and shortens the sore’s duration. Another good option is to use a zinc-based ointment, to speed up the healing. You can buy this at any drug store.

Many over-the-counter (OTC) medications are also available for cold sores, to prevent them from cracking and bleeding, and to help lessen pain. Examples include Blistex, Zilactin, Carmex, Campho-Phenique and Herpecin-L.

Treat the fever

A cold sore appears because of fever, especially in children’s cases. It also makes sense that to remove the sore, you have to cure the fever first. Stay in bed, eat plenty of healthy food, drink plenty of fluids and take your medications. If your fever is cured, it’ll be easier to remove the blisters. If you condition stays, then expect the sore to last for a long time.

Avoid contact

A cold sore can be easily transmitted through physical contact. If you have one, avoid touching other people to prevent spreading the virus. You must also avoid touching other parts of your body, like your eyes, after you’ve touched your sore. Otherwise, cold sores will develop in these other body areas. Always wash your hands with soap and water to keep them clean at all times.

Throw away your toothbrush

Most cold sores develop on the lips and around the mouth, and since your toothbrush always touches these areas, chances are the virus clings to it. Even if your cold sore is already in the healing process, you can retransmit the virus in your mouth. This only causes another lesion to appear. Change toothbrush while you’re treating the sore and after it’s completely gone.

Ease the pain

A cold sore can be painful, so to solve the dilemma, apply an over-the-counter pain killer, such as acetaminophen, to it. Some pain killers also come in cream or ointment forms. To relieve discomfort and swelling, use a cold or warm compress. A whole milk compress also does the trick. It’s also good to keep the sore moist, using a lip balm or petroleum jelly. This prevents it from bleeding and cracking.

A Few More Tips

  • Sweating out your toxins through exercise helps.
  • Avoid the sun. Ultraviolet rays from sunlight aggravate a cold sore, and also makes new ones appear.
  • Enough sleep and rest can help quicken up the healing process.
  • Eat vegetables like Brussels sprouts, brocolli and cabbage, because these help prevent spreading of the virus.
  • If the sore doesn’t heal in 10 days, consult a doctor.

A cold sore can be quite nasty, so better get rid of it immediately, before it gets worse. Just try these tactics, and the virus and painful lesion will be healed.



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