Cold sore refers to very small sores that appear around the mouth, usually on the lips. Herpes simplex virus is the reason for the occurrence of these small blisters. It can be transmitted by such forms of contact as sharing eating utensils, razors, or towels with an infected person; or kissing an infected person. Cold sore typically clear up without any treatment within 7 – 10 days.
A person doesn’t have any signs and symptoms when first become infected with the herpes simplex virus. An occurrence of cold sores can occur sometime later. Cold sores often start with an itching, tingling, and/or burning sensation around the mouth. After that, very small fluid-filled sores will appear, usually on the edges of the lower lip.
Cold sores can appear at any time. They are usually triggered by things like fever, hormonal fluctuations, stress, sun exposure, illness or surgery. These small blisters can be really annoying and unsupportable, but there are a few things you can do in order to soothe, shorten the length or reduce the size of a cold sore outbreak.
According to the Your Health Tubers (and our professional and personal experience), these are the best natural treatments for cold sores:
Garlic has powerful anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It can reduce swelling and speed healing when directly applied on the cold sore. Just take a few pieces of a garlic clove, peel them and smash them in order to make a paste. Apply garlic paste 5-7 times a day, holding it for 4-5 minutes. The feeling may not be pleasant but the results will be great.
- Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera gel is a widely popular for treating numerous health conditions. Studies have found that applying aloe Vera gel topically can help in healing the lesions of HSV-2 (genital herpes). You can use aloe Vera gel to treat cold sores, by applying it 4-5 times a day. It will calm the infected area and ease spreading of the herpes simplex.
- Chamomile Tea Bag
Chamomile is a herb with calming effects and is traditionally used for treating cold sores. Just put a chamomile tea bag into a hot water and leave it for 5 minutes. Then, remove it and let it cool down for a few seconds so you won’t burn yourself. Still warm, apply directly on the infected area. Do this 6-7 times a day, for 5 minutes by using fresh and clean tea bag.
Lemon has great health benefits. You can use lemon for treating cold sores in many ways. Take an organic lemon and cut some piece from it. Apply the inner part of the lemon piece directly on the affected part. You will feel a little burning sensation – but that is when the healing process starts, so do not worry. Alternatively, use a lemon balm (or lemon tea bag) to provide the similar effects. Do this 4-5 times a day, for 5 minutes.
No, you should not drink milk. Simply, soak a clean cotton ball into a cold milk and apply it on the sore. It will help you relieve the itching and tingling. This is an especially helpful remedy if you feel the tingling before even the cold sore comes to the surface. In this case, milk can even prevent the cold sore from appearing on a first place and/or speed the healing process.
Tips for Treating Cold Sores
- Do not squeeze, pick or pinch a cold sore;
- Wash your hands frequently;
- Apply sunscreen (SPF of 15 and higher) to your sore when going outside;
- Reduce stress (take zinc supplements, especially during stressful time to boost your immune system);
- Take a painkiller in case of painful cold sores (aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen or some other OTC);
- Avoid acidic foods (including tomatoes, citrus fruits, and other foods with vinegar);
- Avoid foods high in arginine (found in nuts, seeds, chocolate, and whole grains);
- Eat lysine-rich foods (including fish, dairy products, meat (lamb, poultry, beef), beans, and mung bean sprouts), and
- Eat foods rich in iron (including fresh fruits, and vegetables as cauliflower, broccoli, onion, Brussels sprouts, garlic, and cabbage).
Cold sores usually clear up by themselves within 7 – 10 days. Natural remedies, as garlic, lemon, aloe Vera, milk and chamomile tea bag, can help you reduce the symptoms, ease the pain, and the speeding of the herpes simplex virus. In case you are not interested in home treatment, you can buy antiviral creams that are available from pharmacies without any prescription.
In order to be effective, these remedies should be applied as soon as the first signs and symptoms of a cold sore appear (when you feel an itching, tingling, or burning sensation). It is also really significant to lead a proper hygiene, avoid touching the affected area, reduce stress and eat more foods rich in iron and lysine.