Cold sores or fever blisters are common viral infections that often develop around the lips. They can form a fluid-filled pimple on the corners of your mouth and in other body parts, such as the chin or hands. They form as a response to an infection from the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). When the pimple raptures, you’ll get a blister or a wound that can take seven to ten days to heal. Cold sores are annoying and give you a hard time when you catch them.
Cold sores can easily be spread from one person to another through bodily fluids such as saliva. Some describes it as similar to acne pimples. However, cold sores have a burning sensation; you can tell them apart by taking a closer look and identifying the typical signs. The good news is that they’re easy to treat. The sooner you start on the treatment, the better. It helps fast-track your healing cycle.
You can use home treatment methods or seek medical assistance to treat cold sores. With that in mind, see below some remedies for cold sores:
1. Lemon Balm
You can use the lemon balm on cold sores. The balm contains some extracts from the mint family, which can help fight against the HSV that causes cold sores. Additionally, the balm can help reduce the soreness and redness of the cold sore.
It can also protect you against future infections. Lemon contains antibacterial properties, which prevent the sore from getting bacterial infections. Even if you’ve not had the first symptoms, you can use a lemon-infused lip balm to protect against cold sores.
2. Aloe Vera
This plant contains several antiviral properties that come in handy in treating cold sores. It’s also anti-inflammatory which can reduce the effects of cold sores. You can plant it in your homestead and use the gel when cold sores appear. Although the gel doesn’t cure cold sores, it prevents severe symptoms such as pain and itching.
Before trying this home remedy, it’s best to consult your doctor. It can react and make the situation worse if you have sensitive skin. Thus, taking your doctor’s advice regarding using aloe vera as a remedy for your cold sores would be best.
You can take supplements and capsules rich in lysine to avoid catching cold sores. It’s also available in cream, which you apply directly on the sore.
If you prefer this treatment method, ensure you get your doctor’s prescriptions. Some doses are more effective than others and can significantly influence the healing of the sore. Therefore, talk to your doctor about taking lysine capsules to avoid an overdose. If you buy the supplements over the counter, the pharmacist should guide you on how to handle them depending on the stage of the cold sores.
4. Essential Oils
The last thing you’d want when treating cold sores is extreme side effects. That’s where essential oils come in. Each oil has unique characteristics that make it suitable for treating sores. Moreover, they have fewer side effects compared to other remedies that might irritate your wound.
However, they can be harmful if taken orally. You should only apply them to your wound and not ingest them. Some of the commonly used essential oils as cold sore remedies include:
- Lavender oil
- Eucalyptus oil
- Thyme oil
- Tea tree oil
- Peppermint oil
When using an essential oil, you can dilute it with a carrier oil, such as almond, jojoba, or olive oil. They’re plant-based but can harm your skin if you use too much. If you notice any irritation after using a specific oil, it’s best to stop and switch to another treatment method.
You can use alcohol to speed up the drying process of the sore. Gently rub alcohol on the sore. The sore absorbs the alcohol, which can help dry it up faster. The alcohol might sting momentarily, but it’s worth it. If the sore doesn’t dry up quickly, it may attract some bacterial infection.
6. Hot Compress
You can use the hot towel compress method to relieve the pain from inflammation. Place a heated towel over the sore after every 20 minutes. It can reduce inflammation but won’t necessarily shorten the healing process. It also prevents crusting, which can reduce the rate of healing. However, this remedy works best when you combine it with taking some antiviral medication.
7. Petroleum Jelly
Another way of fighting an infection is using petroleum jelly. Applying it directly to the wound can soften the skin around it and facilitates faster healing. Moreover, petroleum jelly creates a barrier that prevents bacteria from getting to the wound. The barrier acts as a sealant that protects the wound from catching an infection.
Cold sores may have stinging pain that can be unbearable and uncomfortable. You can use ice to relieve the pain. Additionally, ice can help reduce swelling and soreness. Rub it gently on the sore, or use a cool pack. However, you should ensure the pack is clean to prevent bacteria from infecting the wound.
Cold sores can easily be treated using home remedies or medical treatment methods. Whichever the case, you should ensure the method has fewer side effects and better results. Before trying the home remedies, you must talk to a doctor. They can give you insights on the best methods that don’t bring more harm to the wound. If you use the right remedy, they’ll go away after a few days. If symptoms persist, seek your doctor’s advice.