Cold sores are also called as ‘fever blisters’ which are caused by the virus known as Herpes simplex type 1 virus. It is the most common disease found in about every 3 out of 10 patients and is seen more than 10 million cases per year in India. It is the most painful sores occurring around the lips or mouth or sometimes anywhere in the face like cheeks, nose hiding behind the nerve roots.
They multiply in number easily along the nerve roots and are painful, burning, itching and associated with fever. They are red coloured water or fluid-filled blisters.
In this article, we will see how to treat cold sore with home remedies & some prevention tips.
They give an ugly cosmetic look making you self-conscious. As said it is a viral infection and are highly contagious. It is also affected by the infected person with the direct contact of the fluid or infected skin. The virus may be present in the saliva too. It can also spread by sharing infected person’s drinking glasses, toothbrushes, towels and kitchen utensils. Not every people are affected by the Cold sore, it is only in a person who is genetically compromised with the virus which lies within and is triggered by the factors like stress or extreme heat or fever.
Sometimes it may also get confused with the mouth ulcers and canker sores, the most important differentiating factor in canker sores or mouth sores is it affects the mucous membrane of the mouth like a floor of tongue, tongue and inside of lips. They are not contagious too.
Although it cannot be cured completely the simple preventing tips and home remedies can calm and soothes the pain and the frequency of the outbreaks can be reduced to some extent. So here we get you some extremely useful and healthier home remedies which are proved and benefited by many people.
Let us start from the preventing tips as “Prevention is always better than cure”.
How To Treat Cold Sores?
1. No Sharing Rule
Yes, always make a rule and abide by it that you do not share anyone’s personal things like bath towels, hankies, toothbrushes, cosmetics and even sharing the same drinking glasses. Even do not allow anyone to take yours at any cost it may be your spouse or your lovely kids too. It may be rude but its the basic health discipline. Mother’s kindly cultivate this habit in your child since childhood as this may prevent future infections and outbreaks too. Many people do not know that they have genetically predisposed to the virus until it outbursts by any triggering factor. By following “No sharing rule” you can prevent your family and loved ones from further being infected.
2. Avoid Triggering Factors
This can be really beneficial as every time there is a trigger factor before a blister outburst. If you do not know, try and evaluate yourself once you find a new itch or rash is seen. Avoiding known triggering factors can help you in preventing the outburst of the cold sores example if stress is your trigger factor then relax by meditation and yoga and if it is by the heat of sun bothering you every time then apply sunscreen lotions and cover yourself from the heat.
3. Take Your Hands Off
Many to have this bad habit of pulling out the pustules in any form like pimples, cold sores etc. This, in turn, aggravates the condition and the infected hands may also affect other parts or other persons unknowingly. It also leaves the scar marks too without proper healing. So take your hands off the blisters with the bare hands, even if are applying home remedies on the cold sores make sure you apply with a cotton swab or the gloves. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly even if you touch it accidentally.
4. Discard Or Wash The Infected Object
When cold sores affect a person it usually runs its course for a week or two. So once you see the healing sores discard the toothbrush every time and replace it with a new one. This prevents the repeated outbursts. Wash the bath towel used after daily bath thoroughly with the hot water every day soon after wiping yourself. This is because sometimes the hot water during bath may rupture the sores and wipe with the bath towel get viruses in the towel when used repeatedly the same towel it may infect other parts of your body too.
5. Stay Healthy And Fit
This is as important as preventing the further infection. The lowered immunity people are easily prone to viral infections as their defence system is poor in protecting their skin and body. So keep yourself fit by following a healthy lifestyle, balanced food and proper sleep. Eat more of immune-boosting foods to feel energized and those who are severely immune compromised consult a health physician for the Immunotherapy.
Some useful home remedies for reducing the intensity of burning and increase the healing process :
6. Vitamin C For Immunity And Skin Infections
Vitamin C is proved beneficial for boosting the immunity and reducing the skin inflammations and diseases. So including vitamin C rich food in the diet can help in reducing the frequency of outbursts of the cold sores. The foods rich in Vitamin C are oranges, guava, grapes, strawberries, cranberries, lemon, sweet lime fruit, apple cider vinegar.
7. Apply The Natural Glycerin
Sweet glycerin is a natural healer. It is readily available in medical shops. It is also used for cooking purposes. This glycerin can be applied on the sore directly with the help of the clean cotton swab. Rub gently over the sore for few seconds which will give you immediate soothing effect from burning and also hastens the healing process. This can be applied after a clean wash of the area affected and applied with a glycerin soaked cotton bud or swab for 3-4 times a day and even before going to bedtime.
8. Vitamin E Oil
Yes, Vitamin E oil is rich in antioxidants which help in reducing the sores instantly as it has the anti-inflammatory properties. It can even treat the scar marks of the sores completely.
The cold compression can help in reducing many inflammations. In this case icing directly on the affected sore can give you immediate relief from burning and itching.
Ghee has many benefits over the skin, one such benefit is preventing from the further dryness. The dryness of the skin sometimes triggers the viral outburst so applying a ghee on the sore can help in drying and reducing the itch of the sore. It has to be applied on the sore directly before bedtime with a clean cotton swab or bud after a thorough wash of infected area. As Ghee is a natural moisturizer it gears up the early healing process.
These home remedies are beneficial in reducing the pain and burning of the cold sore and will reduce the course of the sore. Early healing and frequency of outbreaks can be reduced by the healthy living and healthy food only by building a strong immunity. But when there are repeated and severe outbreaks of cold sore then consult a health physician for the further treatment.