Top Ten Natural Remedies for Cold Sores
A cold sore is an unwelcome blemish that occurs on your face or lips. Cold sores are not only visually unappealing but are also painful. A cold sore is caused by the herpes virus and results in a skin eruption. Cold sores a small, fluid-filled lesions that occur on or around the lips. Often, several blisters will form together and then burst open. Once they burst, a crust forms over the blisters.
Although there is no cure for a cold sore or the virus that causes cold sores, there are several preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the number of outbreaks that you experience, the duration of the cold sore and the severity of the cold sore. If a cold sore does occur, there are some home remedies that can ease the discomfort of a cold sore and reduce its appearance. Continue reading to find out about these treatments and leave irritating prescription creams in the dust. These solutions can reduce the length of a cold sore and ease the irritation experienced with a cold sore.
1. Vanilla Extract
Many people swear by vanilla extract as a cold sore remedy.This sweet, delicious extract is alcohol based. The alcohol helps make it difficult for the herpes virus to thrive. Additionally, it either destroys the virus completely or decreases the severity and length of your outbreak. If you decide to try this natural remedy, opt for an organic vanilla extract. As soon as you feel the tingling associated with cold sores, swipe some across your lips.
Licorice is another natural remedy that people turn to when they have a cold sore. Licorice root contains glycyrrhizic acid, which has been shown in several studies to stop the cells of the virus and counteract the symptoms of a cold sore. Licorice has anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. Licorice whips will not work. Instead, opt for licorice powder and make a topical cream. Additionally, you can drink licorice tea daily; however, this does not seem to be as effective as a topical licorice cream.
3. Throw Away Your Toothbrush
Once a blister forms and has cleared up, you need to throw away your toothbrush. The virus can thrive in your toothbrush and cause another outbreak if you continue using a toothbrush that you used while having a cold sore.
4. Keep Your Hands Off
You probably know that you should keep your hands aways from your mouth when you have a cold sore; however, it can be nearly impossible to avoid picking the crusty sore on your lips. You may subconsciously pick at it or even peel off the blister. No matter your motive, resist touching the cold sore as this can spread the bacterial infection further across your lips.
5. Milk It
Make a compress of whole milk to help ease the pain associated with a cold sore and speed up the healing process. Milk contains proteins called immunoglobulins that are antibodies that help prevent and fight off viruses, including the herpes simplex virus. Additionally, milk contains L-lysine. L-lysine inhibits arginine, an amino acid that has been shown to cause outbreaks. Additionally, L-lysine can speed the healing process. Drink whole milk to get enough L-lysine and help prevent future outbreaks from occurring.
6. Clean It with Hydrogen Peroxide
As a child, your parent probably put hydrogen peroxide on a scrape. The memories of the sting may prevent you from using this remedy; however, it does not hurt as bad as you remember it hurting. Hydrogen peroxide disinfects the cold sore, speeds up the healing time and prevents the herpes virus from spreading or worsening. Soak a cotton ball with hydrogen peroxide and wipe it over your cold sore several times a day to keep your cold sore from spreading.
7. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil contains properties that kill any viruses located on your skin, such as those found around an erupted cold sore. Ingesting peppermint oil will not help as the peppermint oil only destroys the viruses that have escaped from your cells. The herpes simplex virus typically resides under the skin, waiting for a trigger. When a cold sore occurs, this virus goes to the surface, causing the blister. Peppermint oil applied topically destroys the virus on the surface of your lips.
Echinacea tea is often going to medicine to help prevent illness and disease. Echinacea enhances the immune system, which makes it harder to for the herpes simplex virus to take hold and cause a cold sore. Additionally, echinacea can shorten the length of time that you have a cold sore.
9. Antioxidants- Vitamins C and E
Everyone knows that vitamins are good for you and may help prevent or shorten the duration of a cold. Vitamin C and Vitamin E are both antioxidants. These antioxidants boost white blood cell counts. White blood cells are the body’s way of protecting against illness. When you experience an infection, the immune system sends out white blood cells to battle the disease. By taking a vitamin C and a vitamin E supplement, you can help decrease the occurrence of cold sores and shorten the duration of a herpes simplex infection (cold sore).
10. Make a Paste with Cornstarch
Cornstarch has a silky, beautiful texture that can help soothe irritated skin from a cold sore. Mix a small amount of water with cornstarch to form a paste and apply it directly to the skin to help soothe irritated skin tissues and relieve the itching and burning associated with cold sores. Additionally, cornstarch can help neutralize the pH of a cold sore to help the body better fight off the herpes simplex infection.
Cold sores are irritating, ugly eruptions that are caused by the herpes simplex virus. There is no cure for cold sores; however, there are many natural remedies that can help ease the irritation and pain associated with a cold sore and reduce the duration of a cold sore. Try some of the natural remedies listed above the next time you feel the tingle of a cold sore.
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