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Cold Sores – Treatment, Prevention and Home Remedies for Cold Sores

Cold sores are red, small, fluid-filled, painful blisters that appear on the lips and over the edges of the mouth. These sores are caused by a virus called the herpes simplex virus type1. Most of the cold sores clear up on their own after seven to ten days. Most of the treatment options are focused to reduce the discomfort and pain and steps can be taken to reduce the frequency and limit the duration of an occurrence.

Cold Sores Treatment
Though there is no cure for this infection, but some medications may slightly reduce the duration of these sores and can prevent a future outbreak. The medications that may reduce the severity and duration of an outbreak include:

  • Topical Ointments and creams which is available without prescription also can reduce the pain and itching, which aids in fast healing.
  • Oral antiviral medications are available only by prescription, and these drugs can be used when the first signs and symptoms develop.
  • If these sores occur as a result of weak immune system, then a person may need higher doses of this medicine.
  • If sores are seen along with fever, then give medications to reduce the temperature.
  • Skin protectants and lip moisturizers keeps the sore moist and acts as a barrier to guard the skin and lips from irritants.
  • Oral pain killers may provide temporary relief from pain.

Prevention
Cold sore prevention includes the following:

  • Avoid kissing and skin contact with people while blisters are present.
  • Avoid sharing items like utensils, lip balm, towels and other items that can spread the virus.
  • Be careful in touching other parts of the body like the eyes and genitals which are more susceptible to this infection.
  • Avoid triggers like stress, getting a cold or flu, not getting enough sleep or getting exposed to the sun for long periods of time without using sunblock.
  • Apply sunblock creams to the face and lips before prolonged exposure to the sun both during winter and summer.
  • Encourage frequent hand washing.
  • Avoid foods that seem to cause cold sores.
  • Do not let children share toys that other children put in their mouths.
  • Do not allow children to kiss each other when they suffer cold sores or uncontrollable drooling.
  • Use gloves to apply medicated ointment to a child’s sores.
  • The toys that are used by infected children should be washed frequently.
  • Keep the infected children at home, until the blisters begin to scab over.

Home Remedies for Cold Sores
Some of the common remedies that can be done at home include:

  • Rubbing ice over the sores can be relieving.
  • Rubbing aloe, tea bags or lemon balm extract helps in reducing the size and relieves the pain.
  • Yogurt can be taken as this stimulates the immune system.
  • Aloe plant juice can be used to rub over the sores and is found to be very effective when used at an early stage.
  • Cornstarch paste can be applied over the sores.
  • Tea tree oil can be applied on the cold sores.
  • Camphor spirit is another effective remedy to cure sores.
  • Neem leaf paste can be applied over the sores.
  • Avoid squeezing, pricking or pinching any blister as this may delay the healing process.
  • Wash your hands properly after touching the blisters.
  • Avoid oily and salty foods for the time being.
  • Mix 3ml of carbolic acid in 100 ml of coconut oil and apply this mixture on the cold sores.
  • Place a wet and cool towel on the sores three times a day as this reduces redness and swelling.
  • Use a mouth rinse that has baking soda to soothe a sore mouth.
  • Do not touch the blisters very frequently, instead try to divert your mind in some other work like investing your time in exercise or yoga.

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