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What are Some Remedies for Cold Sores?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 October 2016
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There are numerous remedies for cold sores, ranging from prescription medications which will suppress outbreaks to home remedies which are designed to relieve the pain and irritation of an outbreak. In all cases, you should be aware that no remedies for cold cores will eradicate the virus which causes them, although these remedies can reduce the severity of cold sore infections. Many remedies for cold sores also work on canker sores, since although the two conditions are caused by different things, they have many similarities once they have formed. You may also learn with experience that your body responds differently to various remedies for cold sores, and you can use this information to establish your own regimen of cold sore care.

Cold sores or fever blisters are caused by Herpes Simplex Virus type I (HSV-I). The virus remains dormant until it sees an opportunity to multiply, and then it rapidly activates, causing numbing, tingling, and an outbreak of characteristic blisters in and around the mouth. HSV-I is extremely contagious, and oral herpes is very common. If you have experienced frequent outbreaks of lesions around your mouth, you should get a test for oral herpes if you have not done so already.

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To prevent cold sores, you can use prescription medications which suppress outbreaks or minimize outbreaks in the early stages. You should also wear sunscreen on your face and use lip gloss or chapstick with sunscreen in it, as sun exposure can promote an outbreak of cold sores. Try to eat a healthy, balanced diet with lots of lysine and acidophilus; these compounds are readily found in yogurt, and they can be found in dietary supplements as well. They can also be used in remedies for cold sores, since they appear to actively fight HSV when taken in combination with dairy.

If you feel an outbreak of cold sores coming on, make a yogurt compress or paste and apply it directly to the cold sores. You can also rub lemon balm, grapefruit seed extract, or echinacea on the site, or use a teabag as a compress, since tannic acid appears to suppress outbreaks. Some people also find the application of ice useful, since it slows the onset of cold sores and tends to shrink them as well as treating the pain.

If you have a full blown outbreak, treat the pain with over the counter remedies for cold sores like numbing creams and compounds such as docosonal which can help to attack the virus which is causing the cold sores. You can also use astringents like witch hazel or domebro to dry out the cold sores, with the goal of shrinking the sore. Some people also find success with Vaseline® or other greasy moisturizers which protect the cold sore while it is tender and promote rapid healing of the lesion.

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anon355366
Post 3

My doctor told me to stay out of the sun or use plenty of chap stick. I have been battling sinus infections for the past six weeks and have been on two different antibiotics.

Less than one week after finishing the two week regimen of antibiotics, I started in with canker sores and sinus pain. For the past few days I have been eating grapefruit and now I’ve been having that familiar tingling near the opening of my nostrils and my upper lip forewarning of an impending cold sore. Now I have to go to the store. I have yogurt, but only tomato soup available.

The odd thing is, until about five years ago, I never, ever had a cold

sore. But about when I turned 59, I got my first one ever. I had a very stressful and also somewhat labor intensive job. I think that contributed. I retired about eight months ago thinking the lack of stress from that job would help, but I am continuously sick with sinus infections. One right after the other.
surreallife
Post 2

On a few occasions when I went to the mountains and was exposed to wind and sun I would get a cold sore. It was not clear to me why. I knew that lack of sleep and stress would cause an outbreak, but now I know that exposure to sun, and I think in combination with wind causes an outbreak too. Thank you, I will make sure I use lip gloss with sunscreen from now on when I venture into the great outdoors.

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