Cold sores are small, painful blisters that usually appear around the nose and mouth. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus. Herpes is incurable, but the cold sores usually heal on their own. In some cases sores leave a scar. A scar is the body's way of treating skin injuries. Getting rid of cold score scars involves natural products, over-the-counter creams and, in some cases, medical help
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Vitamin E oil
- Bleaching cream
Use vitamin E oil. Many people use vitamin E oil on scars of various types. Anecdotal evidence indicates that vitamin E oil does reduce the appearance scars over time. Because cold sore scars are small, vitamin E may be useful in treating the scar.
Use bleaching creams. Bleaching creams or skin lighteners fade scars and even out the skin tone. These creams and lotions are useful in lightening dark scars. Many products contain hydroquinone, a bleaching chemical. According to the Mayo Clinic, glycolic acid and kojic acid are also good bleaching ingredients for dark spots on the skin.
Use Mederma. Mederma is a popular commercial skin treatment product that has many testimonials on its website. Many people report having good results with Mederma in fading or removing scars. A single tube costs around £19. Use the cream once or twice a day for a few months to diminish cold sore scars.
Have a chemical peel. A chemical peel is a medical procedure performed by a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon. An acid is applied to the skin to burn off the epidermis, or top layer. Blisters form, but in several days they heal. The skin renews itself and the new skin replaces the scarred skin. Several chemical peels are usually required for the best results. The acids used for the peel includes alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as lactic acid and glycolic acid, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Give it time. Dr. Alan Rockoff, of the Rockoff Dermatology Center in Brookline, Massachusetts, writes that most cold sore scars "go away on their own if you leave them alone and give them enough time." Dr. Rockoff believes that when most cold sores heal, they don't form a scar. He says cold sores caused by sun exposure can leave red marks that linger longer than usual.
Tips and warnings
- People who use AHAs or other skin lighteners are advised to avoid sun exposure by using sunscreen or wearing a hat when they go outside. People should also avoid the sun after a chemical peel.
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