How To Prevent and Treat Cold Sores
Cold sores are an insufferable aggravation for many people. One of the problems with cold sores is that the virus will stay with you for a lifetime. Although there is no permanent cure, there are ways to combat cold sores.
Cold sore prevention sometimes takes just a little common sense. There are several steps you can take to prevent contracting them.
- Avoid kissing people who have visable cold sores. The virus is highly contagious and can spread from contact.
- Do not share personal items such as toothbrushes, lip balm, straws, utensils, towels, or wash clothes.
- Do not share food or beverages.
- Wash your hands frequently especially if you have a lot of contact with people.
- Try to get plenty of sleep and avoid getting too much sun. Apply sunblock to your lips if you know that you will be in the sun for an extended period of time.
- Stress can sometimes trigger a cold sore. Try to maintain a regular exercise routine. Yoga and meditation can be great sources of relieving stress.
Once you feel the onset of the cold sore, the quicker you take action, the better the results. A cold sore will normally heal by itself in 7-10 days, but most people want to eliminate the unsightly sores as quick as possible. There are many medications on the market, and several of them have proven to create positive results. A lot of people turn to medications that contain anesthetics such as lidocaine, benzocaine, dibucaine, tetracaine, or benzyl alcohol. These have been proven to help speed up the healing process; however there are some natural remedies that some people swear will help to shorten the healing time.
Garlic has been known to react positively with cold sores. If straight garlic is too strong for you, then mix it with some olive oil to soften the effect.
An ice pack on the sore can stop it from spreading if you apply it when you first feel it coming on. Applying an ice pack for ten minutes has been known to slow the spread of the virus.
Cleaning the area repeatedly has been proven to be beneficial in speeding up the healing process. Hydrogen Peroxide is often stated as the best cleanser. It helps to dry out the blister and also adds oxygen to speed up healing. Some people claim that applying gin or rum will also aid in healing. Always use fresh tissues on each application to avoid spreading the virus.
Try and protect the cold sore from coming into contact with acidic food items. This also includes carbonated beverages, tomatoes, and sugar. It is important to make the region as alkaline as possible. Consuming more calcium rich products during the healing process can help raise your alkalinity. This includes asparagus and broccoli.
Some vitamins and minerals have been known to help fight against cold sores. Supplements of vitamins C, E, and B-12 can help your body to fight off the sores. It is always a good idea to carefully monitor the amount of supplements you take so that you don’t overdose.
Cold sores can be an unsightly nuisance, but quick action can help you to prevent their onset and keep them from spreading.