Cold sores are tiny, a blister-like bruise that usually forms on cheeks, lips, and nose. As a result of these lesions, your face and skin appear to burn. There is redness and swelling, irritation before the sores break open. There is a frequent tendency to itch that area, and if you do so, it is painful.
A virus called HPV (Herpes simplex virus) is the primary cause for these sores, and these get triggered due to sun exposure, hormonal imbalance, or a compromised immune system. Usually, they are caused by HSV 1, and once you contract it, you experience cold and fever for a few days accompanied by sore throat and headache. While some individuals may never show any symptoms at all, that is, they can be asymptomatic.
What Are The Other Symptoms Of Cold Sores?
- Red rashes on the face, cheeks, tongue, or nostrils
- Lip Swelling
- Inflammation And Pain
- High Body Temperature
- Headaches And Nausea
Apply Lemon Balm
Studies have reported that lemon balm can prevent cold sores due to its antiviral properties. In addition, the hydroalcoholic extract obtained from lemon balm does not allow the virus to enter into the cells, thereby conferring protection.
Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera is an anti-inflammatory agent that keeps redness and swelling at bay. In addition, several studies have reported that aloe Vera heals lesions faster than any other homemade gel. It also helps to keep the skin hydrated and moisturized.
Want to know the easiest way to prepare Aloe Vera gel? Here it is!
Step 1: Take a fresh aloe leaf and wash it well.
Step 2: Peel the leaf and scoop the gel from the leaf.
Step 3: Blend the gel until it gets liquefied and frothy.
Step 4: Add vitamin E or C capsule (optional).
Peppermint is widely used to treat symptoms of the herpes virus. Studies have demonstrated that peppermint oil has stimulating effects, and in one of the studies published in 2003, it was reported that peppermint provided 90% protection against HSP1 and HSP 2. In addition, Peppermint is also known to cause protection against antiviral-resistant strains such as acyclovir. Therefore, peppermint is a wise topical that you can apply to skin surfaces.
Lavender oil is essential to reduce inflammation and discomfort. Lavender oil is a popular essential oil for a skin treatment that ranges from milk skin conditions such as rashes and blisters to herpes symptoms. However, there is no direct correlation between lavender and herpes. Therefore, lavender can be a supplementary treatment for cold sores.
Ice can help get rid of the irritation and discomfort. It also aids in removing soreness and inflammation. One can also apply cold comfort, that is, cool cloth, to crack the sores away. Make sure you are using ice cubes made from clean, clear water. As dirty or polluted water can worsen and lead to infections.
Licorice is a typical Chinese herb mainly used due to the flavonoids it contains. They have antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibacterial activity. These properties are essentially due to the active agents in this herb. Herpes is one of the potential target viruses, and its protective effect lies in the inhibition of the virus shedding.
Propolis is a natural product obtained from the beehive and contains various phytochemicals, particularly flavonoids known for their antiviral properties. Studies have shown that they have an inhibitory effect on HSV virus mainly because it prevents the virus from replicating once it gets into the cells. The antiviral activity also has antioxidant properties that protect against attack by radical oxygen species activated due to external or internal stress.
Thyme oil is another essential oil widely used for its antiviral property. One study demonstrated that thyme oil provided 96% protection from viral activity and 80% protection from HSV infectivity. However, one needs to keep in mind that these essential oils are not clinically proven and can be used as supplementary topicals due to their promising effects as a medical treatment.
Apart from these home remedies, one can also use over-the counter-drugs and medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, which ease the pain associated with cold sores. However, you need to seek medical advice if things get out of hand, mainly if the sores do not get any better even after the home remedies. Some prescription treatments include Acyclovir, penciclovir, Valacyclovir. Note that the doctor prescribes these antivirals, and you should not purchase them without the concerned physician’s consultation.
What Are The Things To Avoid When Having A Cold Sore Outbreak?
- Avoid skin-to-skin contact especially contacts from the affected area.
- Avoid activities such as kissing, as these activities can put your partner in danger as well.
- Do not share personal items such as lipsticks or lip balms.
- Please do not share cutlery items such as spoons and forks with the rest of your family members.
- Maintain clean, healthy skin by hydrated the affected area. However, dab the area with clean water followed by gentle touch with a clean towel. Do not rub the skin.
- Avoid touching the blisters unnecessarily, as they can increase the chances of infection.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with crystal clear water.
- It is best to trim your nails so that there is not any cross-contamination.
- Do not apply any chemicals to the affected area.
The Bottom Line!
Cold sores can be painful and distressing. The very first step to treatment is diagnosing the condition. Not all rashes and blisters are cold sores caused by HSV. Identify the symptoms and then relate their cause. There are cases wherein people are asymptomatic and get healed by home remedies and over-the-counter drugs. However, an individual with a compromised immune system should compulsorily check with the doctor for diagnosing this condition.
There are a couple of treatment ways available, and so if you have cold sores, do not worry. It is not life-threatening, but it will go away in two or more weeks if left untreated. However, leaving them untreated is not a good sign and can lead to adversities; therefore, as soon as you diagnose your sores, try out these home remedies. If things are still not in your favor for a week at least, then book an appointment with your doctor.