How Can I Treat Cold Sores Naturally?
Cold sores are viral infections that are unable to be cured. However, treatment can help manage symptoms and promote quick healing, reducing the frequency, length, and severity of future outbreaks.
Read more to learn about cold sores, their causes, symptoms, and remedies.
What is a Cold Sore?
Cold sores are small fever blisters that form around the mouth. These blisters are usually grouped in patches, which, when they break, form a scab that lasts several days. Cold sores can spread from person to person by kissing or sharing eating utensils or towels.
What Can Trigger a Cold Sore?
Although cold sores are usually caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus 1, they can also be caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus 2.
Other factors that may result in cold sores include:
- A weak immune system
- Exposure to hot sun or cold wind
- Hormonal changes, such as those related to menstrual periods
- Skin injury
- Viral infection or fever
Symptoms of a Cold Sore
Common symptoms of a cold sore are:
- Tingling and itching around the lips
- Blisters around the nose, cheeks, or mouth
- Shallow open pores caused by prolonged blisters that crust and ooze
However, these symptoms will vary depending on the individuals and the frequency of outbreaks.
During the first outbreak, the symptoms will appear after 20 days of exposure to the virus. The sores might last several days, however, the blisters will heal in two to three weeks without leaving scars.
First-time cold sore symptoms include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Painful gums
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
How Can You Treat Cold Sores Naturally?
Generally, cold sores can heal on their own without treatment within a few weeks. However, if you experience a frequent reoccurrence of cold sores, you must see your doctor who then may prescribe antiviral medication/injection or lip cream.
You can also try these natural remedies for treating cold sores:
- Ice - Soothe your cold sore by applying an ice pack.
- Over-the-Counter Creams - Use these creams to manage pain or to keep the skin soft when healing. Sunburns resulting from exposure to the sun can also trigger a cold sore, so use sunscreen to prevent it.
- Pain-Relievers - Apply over-the-counter painkillers to manage pain.
- Tea Tree Oil/ Peppermint Oil - Use tea tree oil or peppermint oil to heal cold sores.
- Propolis - Being a man-made form of beeswax, this ointment can be used to treat cold sores.
- Manuka Honey - Produced by New Zealand bees, this honey is as effective as a topical medication to treat cold sores.
- Lemon Balm - Use lemon balm extracts to heal your cold sores.
- Lysine - Use lysine cream or its capsule form to treat cold sores.
- Vitamin C and E - Both Vitamin C and Vitamin E can help inactivate the Herpes Simplex Virus and prevent cold sores.
We genuinely care about your health. Visit our team if your cold sores are becoming unmanageable. Our practice, Smile Arizona Dentistry, is located in south Scottsdale, AZ and we look forward to helping you maintain optimum oral care and health for a lifetime. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your routine care and hygiene visit!