Cold sores refer to a painful condition when small blisters get formed in clusters on the lips as well as around the mouth. The ailing person suffers from pain, soreness and redness, with the sores gradually breaking open and leaking a fluid and taking a few days to two weeks to heal and get to normal. It is important to learn about the causes, symptoms and treatment of cold sores so that they are treated in time, before the problem aggravates from bad to worst.
Causes of Cold Sores
Primarily, the reason behind the occurrence of cold sores is a virus called herpes simplex virus or HSV. There are two basic types of HSV, HSV 1 and HSV 2, both of which can be responsible for causing cold sores on the mouth area as well as the genital sores. The virus is contagious and can be transmitted from a person who is already infected if a healthy person comes in direct contact of the sore or its fluid. It can also happen by sharing items of personal use such as towel, razor or utensils. Cold sores can occur around the mouth when the virus makes its way into the body through an open cut in the area. The sores might even spread to the other body parts. Besides the viral infection, some other causes of cold sores are stress, fatigue, hormonal changes due to pregnancy or menstrual cycle, low immunity and food allergies.
Symptoms of Cold Sores
A number of symptoms may point out towards this condition such as experiencing pain in the area around the mouth can be manifested as the starting stage of the problem. Slowly, the patient may develop soreness in the throat, burning and itching, fever and swollen glands, though the symptoms may vary from person to person. Soon, there will be blisters on the affected area, followed by their bursting open and leaking, with a crust forming over them at a later stage. Slowly, they will dry out and disappear after a passage of up to 2 weeks time. In small children there may be noticeable drooling when cold sores appear. They are self healing in many cases, but sometimes may need treatment if the patient is experiencing severe pain, the doctor will recommend some ointments and skin creams along with oral pills for treating the condition a little faster and alleviating the pain. Cold sores will however take a certain time to heal and it is better to adopt natural and safe treatments for treating the symptoms.
Home Remedies for Cold Sores
Here are 10 best home remedies for cold sores:
#1. A cold compress applied of the cold sores thrice a day for 20 minutes each can act as an effective home remedy for cold sores, for this purpose, you can makes us of a towel dipped in cold water.
#2. Baking soda can be dissolved in water to make a homemade mouth. Rinse your mouth with it thoroughly twice a day to alleviate pain and soreness.
#3. Next amongst the best home remedies for cold sores is garlic, with its anti viral and anti bacterial action. Apply a crushed clove of garlic on the cold sore and leave it there for 10-15 minutes. Try this out for 3-5 times a day for speedy relief.
#4. Take 3% hydrogen peroxide solution and apply it on the cold sore with a cotton ball. It will dry up the sore as well as disinfect it. Repeat the process every few hours.
#5. Another effective way to get rid of cold sores is to apply a paste of licorice root powder and water on cold sores with the help of cotton and allow it to be there for some hours. This herb heals as well as prevents recurrence of cold sores due to its anti inflammatory action. Drinking licorice tea also helps.
#6. Eating high lysine foods such as eggs, yogurt, milk, cheese and soybeans is another simple way to counter cold sores. Lysine supplements can be taken in consultation with a doctor.
#7. Lemon balm is a herbal home remedy for cold sores. This herb belongs to the mint family and can be used in the form of lip balm or compress.
#8. One of the simplest and easiest home remedies for this problem is ice, which when used as a cold ice pack can give relief from the pain and soreness. The remedy is only for temporary relief.
#9. Aloe Vera gel can be applied topically on the cold sores to get rid of pain and irritation, as well as speed up the healing process.
#10. Whole milk can be applied on the affected area with the help of cotton swab to give a cooling sensation and provide pain relief.
In addition to these remedies, you should avoid hot, spicy and acidic food. Also, maintain good oral hygiene and avoid contact as well as sharing personal items with others.