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Top 7 Cold Sore Treatment Options
Cold sore or herpes labialis is a type of viral infection that appears in the form of painful blisters on the lips, and occasionally inside the mouth, on the chin, nostrils and finger.
The symptoms usually appear after a week after contracting the infection. Occasionally, the cold sore lesions develop almost 20 days after a person is exposed to the herpes simplex virus.
Although the blisters heal naturally within two weeks, various environmental factors can activate the dormant herpes simplex virus living in the facial nerves, causing recurrent cold sore outbreaks. Alleviating the discomfort caused by the cold sore lesions and preventing recurrent cold sore flare-ups are the main objectives of cold core treatment.
Top 10 Cold Sore Treatment Options
Cold sore is primarily treated with oral antiviral medications and ointments. Antiviral medicines help to reduce the duration of the infection. Famciclovir, acyclovir and valacyclovir are common antiviral drugs recommended by doctors for healing the infection.
People prone to recurrent cold sore outbreaks should take the antiviral medication for a long time. The duration of the infection can be shortened by taking the drugs as soon as you experience a tingling sensation in the lips, the early symptom of cold sore breakout.
Warm and Cold Compresses
The pain caused by the cold sore lesions can be reduced by applying warm and cold compresses on the affected area.
Lip Balm with Sunscreen
In several people with a history of cold sore, exposure to sunlight can trigger outbreaks. By applying lip balm containing sunscreen to the lips, you can protect your lips from the sun and reduce further cold sore outbreaks. Zinc oxide can also shield the lips from the sunlight.
Lemon balm is blessed with antiviral properties. In folk medicine, it is used for reducing the painful blisters and shortening the duration of the infections.
Clinical trials have revealed that while it takes about ten days to clear cold sore blisters with conventional ointments, lemon balm can reduce the lesions within five days. When used regularly, this herbal lip balm can prevent further cold sore breakouts.
Regular intake of lysine supplement can suppress growth of the herpes simplex virus. Lysine is an important component in antibodies, hormones and enzymes produced by the immune system to fight infections.
People suffering from cold sores can take 1000mg of lysine supplements. After the infection heals, lower doses of the supplement can be taken daily to prevent further cold sore attacks.
People on lysine supplements should avoid arginine rich foods such as nuts and chocolates that inhibit absorption of lysine in the gut. Lysine ointments are also available for healing the infection.
In the East Asian countries, reishi mushroom is recommended for treating cold sore. Laboratory studies have shown that reishi can inhibit growth of the herpes simplex virus. Supplements containing 600mg of reishi extract can be taken daily.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is packed with powerful antimicrobial compounds. Applying tea tree oil to the painful cold sore blisters can clear the lesions rapidly.
To soothe the skin affected by the cold sore outbreak, you can mix lavender oil with tea tree oil.