Cold sores or fever blisters are small, fluid filled blisters that often pain a lot. These blisters mostly occur on lips, gums and roof of mouth. Herpes simplex virus is responsible for this type of infection. Cold sores are often mistaken for canker sores, which are basically the small ulcers inside the mouth. Canker sores are not contagious, while cold sores are highly contagious. Herpes simplex virus rapidly spreads the infection to other people or other body parts of the person. Thus, it is important to treat the cold sores as soon as possible.
Cure for Cold Sores
Over the Counter Medications
Most over the counter medications aim at relieving the symptoms of cold sores, such as pain, itching etc. There are some medications that also inhibit the development of cold sores further and promote healing. Quite a few medications actually interfere with the herpes virus' mechanism to form a cold sore. Docosanol is an effective over the counter drug which reduces the severity of the cold sores and promotes quick healing.
Numbing Products for Cold Sores
As the name suggests, these products relieve the pain, itching and burning sensation by numbing the cold sores. These products are not necessarily a remedy for cold sores in the mouth, nonetheless, they greatly relieve you of the painful symptoms. The numbing products for cold sores include tetracaine, benzocaine, lidocaine, benzyl alcohol, camphor, and phenol.
Natural Products for Cold Sores
Products containing lysine, an essential amino acid, are the most effective cures for cold sores. Lysine can also be obtained from food sources such as red meat, fish, eggs, etc. Similarly, lysine supplements that are commercially available also have the same effect. Reishi, a type of mushroom is known to cure cold sores by strengthening the immune system. Other natural cold sore cures and remedies include Resveratrol, a compound found in red grapes, which actively fights herpes simplex virus. Propolis and peppermint oil are some other cures for cold sores.
How to Treat Cold Sores at Home
Hygiene is the best way of preventing and curing the cold sores at home. It is important to wash the infected area with disinfectant soap and water solution at least 5-6 times a day. Similarly, ice therapy also works best for curing cold sores at home. Take a cube of ice and place it directly over the cold sore for 5 to 10 minutes. This reduces the temperature of the underlying tissue and thus, brings down the metabolic rate in that area, preventing further aggravation of the cold sore. Similarly, placing cold tea bags over the affected area also helps a great deal in curing cold sores. Repeat these procedures every couple of hours until the symptoms begin to wear off. Other home remedies for cold sores cure include applying lemon lip balm or petroleum jelly, as both of these products prevent further infection. Aloe gel may also provide a soothing effect, thereby relieving you of the burning sensation.
Since cold sores are highly infectious, it is important to take all the precautionary measures to prevent the contamination from the virus. If you get an infection, make sure you don't spread it to other people or other parts of your body. Wash your hands as frequently as possible. Also, wash your clothes and utensils with disinfectant soap. Avoid indulging in activities such as kissing, sharing food or drinks, etc.
Remedies for cold sores are easily available if the infection limits itself to lips or the inside of the mouth. If the infection spreads to other areas such as eyes or genitals, it can turn pretty nasty and difficult to treat. Therefore, take all the precautionary measures to avoid further infection.