There is utter confusion around the development of cold sores. Many people confuse cold sores with typical mouth ulcers or canker sores. Cold sores are called as fever blisters and are caused by the herpes simplex virus that is primarily acquired during childhood. They normally occur when the child or adult comes into contact with infected saliva. The virus can remain dormant in your body for years unless stress, flu or anxiety activates it.
The sores primarily occur in the mouth region, around the lips, outer mouth and sometimes even the tongue. The blisters are white in colour and often become large and painful. Luckily, they heal and disappear on their own in 7-14 days. To alleviate the discomfort caused by cold sores there are some simple home remedies that you can use and follow.
Ensure that you keep the cold sores covered at all times to protect it from exposure. Petroleum jelly provides a thick layer of protection and sometimes even prevents the infection from being passed to another person.
You can also use a mild anaesthetic agent like benzocaine on your cold sore. This helps to subside the pain and the burning sensation.
Lemon balm has anti-viral properties as per some recent studies. In a study, when people in a study group were asked to use lemon balm on their sores, they showed healing within 5-6 days. Lemon balm also decreases the frequency of the occurrence.
Using peppermint oil has been found to be beneficial in the treatment of cold sores. The peppermint oil has strong, penetrative effects, which attacks the virus as soon as it comes into contact with it.
However, it should be used only after the strictest of consideration as ingestion of even small amounts can prove to be toxic to the body.
Some people swear by hydrogen peroxide as an effective cure for cold sores. Just dilute the hydrogen peroxide in water and apply it onto your lips. Continue with this treatment for a few days and you will see a definite improvement in your condition.
In the initial days, the blisters can become swollen and also spread to your entire mouth region causing acute swelling and pain. In such cases, it is better to ice the blisters. Apply the ice gently over the blisters. The ice has a cooling effect and also helps to bring down the swelling that may have occurred.
Take a blob of toothpaste and to it add just one drop of rubbing alcohol and salt. Now rub this mixture on your cold sores. You will feel an intense burning sensation but the blisters will soon dry up without spreading or becoming bigger.
If you are susceptible to frequent bouts of cold sores, ensure that you protect yourself from heat. Never step out into the sun without applying sunscreen to your face and mouth region as a number of cases of cold sores are aggravated with the heat of the sun.
The first and foremost step that you can take to protect yourself and your family from the spread of the infection is to follow good hygiene. Always wash your hands especially if you have been touching your lips and mouth region.
Keep your razors, toothbrushes, personal toiletries and utensils sterilized at all times and ensure that no one else uses it.
The tannic acid present in the tea helps to check the growth of the virus. You can apply a cold and wet tea bag directly on the blisters especially if there has been acute swelling and inflammation.
You can also apply warm tea bags. Application of the tea bags for at least 5-6 days should give you some relief against the pain and the burning sensation.
Make a concoction of coconut oil mixed with dettol and bottle this solution. Now apply this solution gently on your cold sores to get relief from them.
With hazel has astringent properties that not only helps to check the infection but also helps to reduce the burning and painful sensation associated with cold sores and blisters.
While this remedy will burn like hell, common salt can be applied to the cold sores to help them to heal. Salt also acts as a natural disinfectant.
The cooling and soothing aloe Vera gel can be used to treat cold sores. It helps to soothe and reduce the pain, swelling and irritation especially around the mouth region. You can apply the gel 2-3 times a day for best results.
Stress and extreme anxiety can make the virus active and cause you to break out into blisters. This is because the virus is very sensitive to high degrees of stress, changes in the body temperature, pH balance and even your levels of immunity. As soon as it senses a lowered immunity, it attacks the body to cause cold sores.
Ensure that you manage your stress and keep it under control. This can be done by following yoga and some other relaxation techniques that will help to ease and assuage the stress. Try to take fruit breaks from work and do not allow pressures at work to overwhelm you.
The virus needs an acidic environment in the body to survive and thrive. A slightly alkaline environment can tilt the balance back into your favour.
Avoid eating acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits and anything that has vinegar in it. This will only spread the infection. Doing this along with regular dressing of the blisters will account for at least 50% of the healing and you will immediately start to feel better.
Ensure that you take in a lot of garlic in the form of soups and curries. This is very effective in curing the blisters and raising your immunity from within the body. Garlic is purported to have strong anti-viral properties.