Cold sores are painful blisters. These small, red skin lesions usually appear around the mouth and nose. The cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex Type 1 virus. Cold sores are contagious skin growths that are easily contracted by kissing or touching an open sore. And like all herpes infections, there is no cure. But there are remedies available that can reduce the pain and shorten the healing time. These cures include natural remedies, over-the-counter drugs and prescription medications. While it is not possible to cure a cold sore in a day, it is possible to accelerate the healing.
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See a doctor. A doctor can prescribe an antiviral drug that helps to treat cold sores. These medications are more potent than what can be found over the counter. It is best to take the antiviral drug as soon as the first symptoms appear.
Use cold sore ointments. There are over-the-counter products that treat cold sores. These medications usually contain numbing agents to alleviate the pain. One well-known product is Abreva. It is very effective in accelerating the healing time of sores. Apply the Abreva ointment to each cold sore.
Reduce stress. Stress is more likely to trigger an outbreak and prolong the healing time. Meditation, deep-breathing exercises, yoga or t'ai chi chi are a few ways to relax the body and the mind. Vitamin B complex is also known to relax a person.
Improve the immune system. One way to fight infections is to improve the immune system. This can be done by taking the herb Echinacea, which is known to fight all kinds of infections. Taking vitamin C supplements also help to fight the germs associated with cold sores. According to Best Herpes Treatments, vitamin C "can activate white blood cells and promote interferon production, a natural antiviral agent." With a stronger immune system, the body can heal the cold sores faster. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that removes toxins from the body called free radicals.
Apply vitamin E oil. Vitamin E is a well-known skin remedy. It is an antioxidant that eliminates free radical and is believed to reduce scarring. Apply the oil to each cold sore to promote skin renewal. It also helps to reduce any pain or itching caused by the cold sore.
Use sunscreen. Another way to improve healing time is to use a sunscreen on the face to protect the cold sores from ultraviolet light. Sun exposures can trigger outbreaks or make the ones you already have worse. Use sunscreen every time you go outdoors.
Apply ice packs. The ice reduces the pain and swelling of a cold sore. Use an ice pack for 15 minutes at a time. It is best to move the ice pack around the area and not keep the ice on one area for too long.
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