If “how to get rid of a cold sore fast” is searched on google, you’ll see pages after pages talking about home remedies which ranges from ice cube to aloe vera gel and so on. Cold sores or fever blisters, as they are called are painful blisters that developed around the mouth region caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). This simply means cold sores are developed when the herpes virus stayed dormant on the body, thereby causing an open and painful sores. According to a study, more than half of the Americans, between the ages of 14 and 49 years have the virus. So there is nothing to be embarrassed about. You or someone you know may have or see it on your mouth.
How To Get Rid Of A Cold Sore Fast – Life Cycle Of The Virus
This virus typically clears off within two weeks of appearance on you lips. Especially in people with strong immune system and that has no underlying health conditions like eczema.
A survey done by World Health Organization shows that more than two-thirds of adults, from 50 years and above, have HSV-1. Another survey by Michigan University Health Services shows that more than 50 percent of Kindergarten-age in America already have the virus.
The virus usually cause a cold sore that appear on the upper body, mainly around the mouth region. This virus doesn’t always cause any symptoms, though around 30 percent of those with the virus will show signs of infection, as stated by The Academy of General Dentistry.
Currently there is no cure for this virus, and its infections are life long. However, its intensity, frequency of outbreak and length of infections can be decreased.
How To Get Rid Of A Cold Sore Fast – How They Develop
Let’s look at how this cold sores are developed before we address how to get rid of them. As discussed above, cold sores are symptoms of the herpes virus (HSV-1) which is also known as oral herpes.
Cold sores are a symptom of the herpes simplex virus (or HSV-1), which is better known simply as oral herpes. This virus spreads through kissing, sharing of cutleries, cups and most especially, oral sex. Which means the virus is easily transmittable between partners and even family members.
Common Reasons For Cold Sore Breakouts
- Too much stress or anxiety
- Restlessness, fatigue and tiredness.
- Weak Immune system.
- scratch, rash or burn to the skin.
- Hormonal changes during menstruation
- Too much exposure to sun
- A cold or other illness.
Focusing on healthy lifestyle that promotes strong immune system can greatly help reduce the infection.
How To Get Rid Of A Cold Sore Fast : Home Remedies
Caution should be taken in using the mentioned methods. Consult your doctor for advise on the one that is suitable for you. This is because some some substance may cause irritation, allergic reaction and so on. For example, a recent study shows propolis, a cold sore ointment, mentioned in this article, is known to cause allergic dermatitis. Exercise caution when applying any new substances to your skin. Reactions, like irritant and allergic contact dermatitis, have been known to occur from some of these treatments.
Below Are few Home Remedies On How To Get Rid Of A Cold Sore Fast
1. Cold Compress:
To help lessen the effect of cold sores and heal it quickly, a cool damp cloth or a cold compress can be held against the sores. Research shows this will help it heal more quickly and make the sore less red and crusty.
If a cold sore symptoms are felt, even before it appears, a study by the Harvard Medical School suggest holding and pressing an ice cube against the area. This method is believed to keep a cold sore from developing, even if it appears, it’ll disappear more quickly.
Another study by the Journal of Professional Nursing Today also suggests sucking on an ice helps to keep the sore hydrated and prevent drying, cracking or developing any secondary infection.
The journal Journal of Professional Nursing Today notes that keeping the sore hydrated by sucking on ice may prevent it from drying, cracking and developing a secondary infection.
2. Cold Sore Ointment:
As explained by some study, over the counter cold sore ointments can help shorten a cold sore outbreak within few hours or a day. So when you are in hurry and need to look your best, this is worth trying.
3. Using Apple Cidar Vinegar:
Since cold sores are caused by virus and apple cidar vinegar has the ability to fight off bacteria and viruses, this can greatly help with cold sore.
Though apple vinegar can help fight off cold sore infection, care should be taken in applying its full strength directly on the sore due to its intensity. The apple cidar vinegar should be diluted and apply not more than twice a day to help clear the sore.
4. Using Tea Tree Oil:
Though tea tree smells somehow, but if you like the smells then this can greatly help in getting rid of your cold sore quickly. The oil has the power to fight off the Herpes Simplest Virus quickly, thereby eliminating cold sores. As with Apple Cidar Vinegar, tea tree oil has high intensity and should be diluted before applying on your skin.
5. Using Kanuka Honey:
Honey is a well known antibiotics and has the power in healing wounds and skin injuries. A recent study shows that a type of honey, Kanuka honey, from Manuka tree (found in New Zealand) also has the power to get rid of cold sores fast.
Propolis is another bee product and also has the ability to cure and get rid of cold sores quickly. Research shows that propolis also has an antibiotic property, which could make it a good choice in fighting off cold sores.
7. Applying Lemon Balm:
A study shows that applying lemon balm cream, an herb from the mint family, can greatly help the healing process in cold sore.
Lemon balm has many other therapeutic purposes and is available in capsule.
As suggested by some studies, people taking lysine are less likely to have a cold sore recurrence. Some study also shows that using lysine won’t prevent the cold sore to occur in the first place, but it cost nothing to try.
Lysine, an essential amino acid, is available in an OTC oral supplement form or as a cream. Please note that OTC oral supplements are poorly regulated by the FDA and care should be taken when using them.
9. Peppermint Oil:
As showed by a lab test, applying diluted peppermint oil to a spot where cold sore is felt could quickly fight it off. This is because the peppermint oil has the ability to fight both Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2.
10. Prescription Medication:
Antiviral drugs such as acyclovir, famciclovir and valacyclovir can be used to heal cold sore quickly. These medications are best if they are taken before the cold sore appears. Especially when you are feeling the cold sore is about to show. By having a tingling, swelling, burning or a redness in or around your mouth region.
These antiviral drugs have the ability to heal the cold sores and even stop them totally from appearing.
How To Prevent Cold Sores
Cold sores are easily transmittable. Therefore prevention should be taken so as not to slow down the healing process or transmit it to other areas. Some of the prevention tips you can take includes:
Don’t touch an open sore
– If an open sore is touched without washing your hand, you can easily spread the virus to someone else. Bacteria can also be introduced from your hand to the open sore. It is therefore important to wash your hand immediately an open sore is touched to prevent spreading it.
Don’t pop the sore
– Though temptation may come to pop the sore as if it were a pimple. Doing this easily give the virus fluid a chance to spread to other areas of your mouth and lips. It is always better to leave it as it.
Avoid Oral Sex
– Having oral sex when you have cold sore is giving chance to transmit the virus to your partner. Wait till the sore is healed and cleared from your mouth and lips before resuming oral sexual activities.
Avoid Using Soap or Facial Wash
– Since cold sore isn’t caused by skin dirt, using facial cleansing or soap can greatly slow down the healing process as this makes your skin to dry very quickly. Vigorous scrubbing may also irritate your skin more.
Avoid Picking The Scab
– Since the scabs only last a few day, avoid picking it doesn’t leave a scar on your mouth or lips.
Avoid Eating Acidic Foods
– Foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits and so on are very high in acidic properties. They can cause a burning sensation when they touch the cold sore. Avoiding them for a few days till when the cold sore is cleared is best.
Use Recommended Dosage Of Antiviral Drugs
– Taking more than the recommended dosage of antiviral drugs like Valacyclovir doesn’t necessarily mean the sore will heal quickly. Recommended dosage should be followed to prevent drug poisoning.
Replace Your Tooth Brush
– Virus that causes cold sores can live on your tooth brush for long, it is important to replace your tooth brush. This is to avoid re-infection and hasty repeat of the outbreak.
When To See A Doctor
Cold sores go away on their own most of the time, maybe within a week or two. If your cold sore doesn’t go away after two weeks, you might want to check in with your doctor.
If you are also having cold sores severally within the same year, consult your doctor to prescribe a strong antiviral medication.
Other reasons to see your doctor are, but not limited to:
- Severe pain
- Having several cold sores
- Cold sores very close to your eyes
- Sores that have spread to other parts of your body
Although home remedies like using aloe vera gel, ice cube and so on may help in relieving pain from cold sores. These aren’t scientifically proven to speed up the healing process.
Taking antiviral drugs like Valacyclovir, as soon as the cold sore is noticed, is the best. This is known and proved to help speed up the healing process. And also help in getting rid of the sores as quickly as possible.
Methods discussed above are very effective ways and methods on how to get rid of a cold sore fast.