How to Treat* a Cold Sore?

Treat a Cold Sore
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 
Q: How do I get rid of cold sores quickly and effectively? Any homemade remedies Also, how do I get soft, smooth, kissable lips?
Expert Answer

Most of us get that nasty looking sore around our mouth and sometimes even on our lips. They look ugly, are painful and nothing short of a nuisance. So what to do about them? Read on to find out.

Make Sure You Have a Cold Sore

Cold sores are vicious, and an urgent treatment is necessary to prevent/alleviate* them. However, for immediate treatment you need a proper diagnosis; what you think is a sign of an impending cold sore might actually be Canker Sore, or Chicken pox for that matter. For the best diagnosis and treatment, an urgent visit to the doctors is the way to go.

Recognize The Signs Of an Impending Outbreak

As much as we all love to stay away from annoying diseases and viruses, a virus or two is bound to find its way into our life. Cold sore is one such virus, which may be acquired even by sharing a drink with someone, using someone else’s towel, kissing et cetera.

The very first signs of a cold sore, aka fever blisters, are lips stinging or tingling, sore throat of sorts, and a feverish state overall. If you witness any one of these signs, be prepared, and start making arrangements for its treatment.

Unfortunately, cold sore is not curable. However, it is treatable with the right technique, medication, and persistent care. There are over 20 types within the herpes virus, however only two of those types cause cold sores; Simplex type 1, and Simplex type 2. Regardless of the type, one fact is certain: You might face cold sores on a regular basis, once or twice in your lifetime, or never. This is just how the nature of the virus is, and its behavior depends entirely on your genetics. So, some people get cold sores all the time while some don’t get it even once.

Quarantine Your Sore at The First Sign of an Outbreak

Regardless of which type of herpes virus you have, there is no difference in the treatment of cold sores. However, there are different types of treatments for those who get cold sores frequently and those who get it very rarely. Here is a list of what you should do to treat* cold sores;

1. Take an Oral Antiviral Medication:

These are exceptionally useful especially if you get cold sores on a daily basis, because they reduce* the frequency with which cold sores may break out and also reduce* the time you will have to bear them. Some popular medications include acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclover. However, you will need a prescription by a doctor to get these.

2. Take a Topical Antiviral Medication:

These are over-the-counter drugs and help in reducing* both the discomfort and pain caused due to cold sores. Try to find topical, which contains anesthetics like lidocaine, dibucaine, benzocaine, tetracaine, or benzyl alcohol. Cold sore normally takes around 10 days to get off of your face, but if wish for it to go away faster, you can always get topical Abreva, which contains docosanol; a compound which helps treat* cold sores faster.

3. Treat* The Fever:

A fever is never healthy, and it may deteriorate the condition of your cold sore even further. So take over-the-counter medication for fever like Tylenol and you should be fine.

Ease* the pain!
The pain is always the hardest part to endure, so make sure to apply some ointment on your cold sore to ease* up the pain. Any ointment will fulfill the purpose. You can also get antibiotics for your cold sores, but these can’t be used without your doctor’s prescription.

Be Patient

Cold sores take their time to heal, usually 10 days or longer, depending on how well you take care of them. So be patient, and don’t worry, because your cold sore will go away whenever it’s ready. Don’t try to get rid of it by scratching it or self medicating.

Expert Advice

Don’t touch your cold sore, it will only worsen it and may even cause scarring. Even when you are applying your ointment, make sure that the cream is the only thing that touches the sore, not your skin. Also studies have shown that stress and exposure to the sun without sun block can also trigger cold sores. Try using a sun block and avoid stress, it will help with your avoiding cold sores in the future.

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Author

Expert Author : Andrea Moore (Consumer Health Digest)

Andrea Moore has been a senior writer for Consumer Health Digest for more than a decade. She specializes in in all topics related to health, fitness, nutrition, and beauty. She has also worked as a communications and marketing professional. Connect with Andrea on Facebook for constant updates on her projects.