In this article, we will tell you about cold sores and different ways to get rid of cold sores. Cold sores are small blisters, grouped together in patches, which get developed on lips or around the mouth. They are sometime developed inside the mouth, nose and on the nose, face and genital areas as well. Cold sores are marked by redness around the affected area, headache, soften and swollen skin around the blisters, which often leaks fluid. They are caused by the contagious virus known as Herpes Simplex. Cold sores are usually mild. But, in some cases, it may generate complications. Read this article to find out more about cold sores and learn different measures which are used to get rid of cold sores.
Types of Cold Sores:
Cold sores are caused by Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) which has two types – HSV-1 and HSV-2. Both causes oral herpes or cold sores and genital herpes, which affects the genital areas. Genital herpes can occur on the other parts, below the waist, as well.
One form of HSV infection (primary herpes stomatitis) is common among kids, who are 1 to 3 years old.
Symptoms of Cold Sores:
Small fluid-filled blisters typically break out on the edge of the lips where it meets the skin of the face. The popped up blisters, when break, leave the sores that leaks fluid and crust over. The usual symptoms of cold sores include itching, burning and tingling sensations, painful eroded gums, fever, and pain around the mouth, a sore throat and swollen glands of the neck or other parts of the body. Cold sore in children can make them drool before it appears on the body. It can be very painful for some people and for some it might not be a big deal.
If it is painful, dehydration is followed. In such case, small children are at higher risk. Sometimes people have the virus, but they don’t develop cold sores and sometimes they don’t show the symptoms.
Signs and symptoms may vary depending on the outbreak. Recurrence is generally on the same spot, but it is less severe than the previous outbreak.
Causes of Cold Sores:
Cold sores are caused by the communicable virus known as Herpes Simplex Virus. It’s a very contagious virus which is easily transmissible from one human to another. HSV doesn’t attack one at once. When it enters the human body, for most of the time it remains ineffective. But later, due to certain reasons it gets triggered and appears on the skin.
This virus usually enters the body through mouth or cut in the skin. It passes through the skin and travels the nerves till it reaches ganglion, a collection of nerve cell. Factors mostly responsible for the outbreak of cold sores are high fever, an injury to the affected area, tiredness and fatigue, psychological stress or emotional upset, strong sunlight, hormonal changes in women due to menstruation, dental treatment or injury to the lips, food allergy, weak immune system and cosmetic surgery or laser skin resurfacing. Sometimes, having other infections, like respiratory tract infections, may also lead to cold sores.
Cold sores are contagious and can easily be transferred from one person to another. Direct contact with the fluid, leaking from the blisters, assures the transfer of the virus. It travels through sharing utensils with the affected person, sharing bathroom items such as razors or towels, touching that person’s saliva or kissing him\her. It has the tendency to reoccur on the same place again and again. Children mostly develop cold sores when kissed by the affected person.
Remedies to Get Rid of Cold Sores:
Cold sores appear on the body and heal up within 2-3 weeks. There is no cure for cold sores as such, but the pain and other side effects can be reduced. Following are some of the ways through which you can get rid of cold sores and the pain:
1.) Glycyrhizic Acid to Get Rid of Cold Sores
- Glycyrhizic acid, an ingredient in licorice root fights the HSV virus.
- Make a paste by mixing one tablespoon of licorice root powder to half teaspoon of fresh water.
- You can change the amount of the paste as per your requirement, but take care of the amount of the increment.
2.) Avoid Spicy Food to Get Rid of Cold Sores
The very first way to distant the pain is stop having oily, spicy and acidic food. Having acidic food may worsen the case. So avoiding spicy food should be the first priority. Switch to a healthier diet. It’s natural, when you eat healthy you will be healthy and so will be your skin.
3.) Vanilla to Get Rid of the Cold Sore
Applying pure vanilla will help you get rid of the cold sore. Try to get it organic. Follow the given steps to use vanilla to get rid of cold sore:
- Soak a cotton pad or swab in vanilla till it is thoroughly saturated.
- Apply the soaked cotton directly to the sore.
- Four times a day will do its job.
- Applying vanilla on the cold sore directly can give you much relief.
- It reduces the risk of getting harmed.
4.) Wet Towel to Get Rid of Cold Sores
Your bathroom items can help you get rid of cold sore. Your toothbrush and towel will help you get relief from the painful cold sore. It might sound quite strange and unbelievable, but it is true. Your wet towel will help you slowly but effectively. Place the wet towel on the cold sore for 20 minutes, three times a day. It will help reduce the redness and swelling. Throw your old toothbrush. Switch to a new one.
5.) Vitamin C and E
Vitamin C and E have proven to be effective on cold sores. Vitamin C boosts white blood cells (WBC) and thus improves your immune system which helps fight the sores. Direct use of Vitamin E will help you get rid of the redness and itching and it also tends to minimize scarring after the sores are gone. Improve your diet by adding Vitamin C and E and get rid of cold sores and other skin problems.
6.) Medication to Get Rid of Cold Sores
Till now discussed are mostly the natural and home based remedies for cold sore. Though, they might be a little slow in the treatment, but they are very effective. But if you still don’t believe in going for these measures and have more faith in medication, then there are medicines available in the market which will help you get rid of your painful sore. Acyclovir, valacyclovir, and acyclovir are easily available in the market, which reduces the impact of sores.
7.) Aloe Vera to Get Rid of Cold Sores
Aloe Vera gel is one of the most effective treatments when it comes to heal cold sores. Directly applying the gel will help get relief from the redness, irritation, itching and tangling. If you have a Aloe Vera plant then use the fleshy leaf to get rid of your cold sore. Break the fleshy leaf from the end and apply the gel on the sores. If you don’t have the plant than the gel is easily available at stores. You can apply the gel directly and you are done.
8.) Hazel to Get Rid of Cold Sores
The leaves and barks of Hazel tree have been used medicinally for years. It has been used to cure many diseases and now you can use Hazel to get rid of cold sores. Hazel is very helpful if you want to get rid of cold sores. But, to get the virtues of Hazel, you need not look for the tree. Now they are easily available at the pharmacy or any general store. You can buy them easily and can get rid of your cold sores effectively. Just apply it on the sores regularly to get the best results.
9.) Petroleum Jelly to Get Rid of Cold Sores
If your cold sore is irritating you like anything and that itching is making you scratch your face and you want to get rid of it urgently then you need not worry. The petroleum jelly kept in your drawer will do the job. Petroleum jelly has its own qualities. Applying petroleum jelly, like Vaseline, will have the direct impacts. It soothes the skin and thus avoids itching and tangling.
10.) Cornstarch Paste to Get Rid of Cold Sores
If you are familiar with cornstarch, then you would definitely know that it has smoothing effects and it makes the skin smooth and silky. Here you can use it to get rid of your cold sore. Add one tablespoon of cornstarch with one tablespoon of fresh water. Make the paste and apply it directly on the sore.
Precautions to Avoid Cold Sores:
Given above are the remedies for cold sores. But if you want to ignore the recurrence of the same, then there are some measures which you should follow. Following precautions will keep you away from the re-occurrence:
- Do not touch your sores again and again and wash your hands properly after touching them.
- Cover your skin properly before going into the sunlight as direct UV rays may damage the skin. For the purpose, change your lip balm and lipstick.
- Don’t kiss anyone with a cold sore.
- Avoid sharing towels, razors and utensils with an affected person.
- Be hygienic. Wash your hands properly after visiting different places like parks, trains, clubs etc. Wash your clothes and utensils properly.