If you are prone for cold sores, it’s a real pain when you feel that tell-tale tingling coming in, which usually means a cold sore is on its way to wreak havoc on your life for a while. While this unwelcome guest will make itself comfortable for up to three weeks (8 to 14 days is average), you can help speed up its departure with home remedies that work to battle the cold sore and alleviate the itching, pain, and irritation that comes along with it.
First of all, you’re not gross (or alone) if you’re prone to cold sores. Many people have them, and since they are contagious it is very likely that nearly 100% percent of the population has at least been exposed to a cold sore at some point in their lives. Some people get a cold sore out of the virus, others do not. But if you do get these annoying blisters (typically on the mouth, but sometimes on the face or the nostrils), while there is no known cure to get rid of them for good, there are natural ways to speed up a current cold sore’s disappearance and get on with your life.
Cold sores are small painful blisters that typically start with a tingling sensation. It can take a cold sore up to 2 weeks to hit an active stage where it is visible on the mouth, so if you can catch the cold sore before it has a change to emerge and get it in the tingling stage, you can often keep the cold sore from fully arriving, saving you the painful blistering, weeping, and crusting stages that are painful and unappealing.
Treat an impending or present cold sore with many home remedies. Lysine ointment on a cold sore can often make it go away within 3 days, and most likely within a week, without side effects. Lysine encourages protein growth, which in turn provides the body with more bacteria and disease fighting antibodies within the body. Lysine is a good way to attack a cold sore before it hits full presence and to treat an existing cold sore. Eating protein-rich foods is a great way to help ward off the cold sore virus and keep it silent longer, possibly causing less outbreaks. A lysine daily supplement (take as directed) also may help in decreasing cold sore outbreaks and treat cold sores when you have them.
Lemon balm is another great way to treat an existing cold sore by lessening the length of the sore by almost 50% and with its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal abilities it can help prevent recurrences by taking as a daily supplement. Lemon balm also helps to soothe the pain of a cold sore as well.
Peppermint oil is very effective in its ability to fight the cold sore virus while its active, but should not be ingested, so be careful when applying it to the mouth. It has natural anti-inflammatory properties as well and helps to calm and soothe an existing cold sore and make it quickly go away. Again, do not ingest peppermint oil, as it is known to be toxic.
A daily supplement of echinacea to boost the immune system can also help protect against future cold sore outbreaks. You can also take echinacea supplements during an outbreak to help your immune system fight the active virus and help it retreat back to “sleep” mode. However, you may still need to put a calming balm, like Aloe on the cold sore itself to relieve the pain, cracking, and dryness associated with cold sores. If using Aloe or another balm to soothe the cold sore, always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching the sore to avoid spreading the active virus to other areas, like your eyes or nose.
If you have a persistent or particularly bad cold sore, or if you are unsure you have a cold sore, consult your doctor or head to the clinic to have the sore checked out. They can help you find what remedy can work best for you.