Cold sores are also referred to as fever blisters and develop around the lips or the mouth. These lesions appear in clusters and are painful in nature. The Herpes simplex virus is responsible for the development of these sores. The blisters form, then erupt releasing a yellowish fluid and then scab over in a few days. Cold sores are very contagious until they crust over. Nearly 80% of people have the cold sore virus lying dormant in their system which becomes active when initiated by factors such as exposure to sun, stress, hormonal changes or cold. The first outbreak is always the worst. Itching or tingling feeling often precedes an attack of cold sores.
How to alleviate the symptoms of cold sores with home remedies
Unfortunately cold sores are incurable and take nearly two weeks to be cured completely. But there is a wide array of home remedies which you can use to speed up the healing process.
Camphophenique: this is one of the most popular treatments for reducing the stinging and itching associated with cold sores. It is an effective antiseptic.
- Apple cider vinegar: this is a wonderful ingredient and is loaded with curative properties. It is used to treat a variety of complaints. Applying apple cider vinegar on the cold sore can speed up the recovery. Washing your face daily with this can prevent future outbreaks.
- Garlic: garlic is an effective disinfectant and can aid in the prevention of secondary infections. The antibiotic properties in the garlic can combat viral infections. You can either apply raw garlic on the cold sore or purchase garlic pills to benefit from its restorative properties.
- Hydrogen peroxide: combine one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide with two ounce of water and apply it to the cold sore. This is a very effective home remedy that many people swear by.
- Whole milk: whole milk contains a fat which has antiviral properties and is beneficial in healing cold sores. Soak a cotton ball in cold milk and dab it on the affected area.
- Zinc lozenges: zinc plays an important part in boosting the immunity. The duration of the cold sores can be significantly reduced by sucking on zinc lozenges.
- Baking soda: applying baking soda on the cold sore eases and diminishes the duration of the cold sore outbreak because Herpes virus cannot reproduce in an alkaline environment.