Cold Sore Home Remedies

Cold sores are small and seemingly irrelevant or harmless, but the intensity of pain and discomfort it brings cannot be ignored.  It could ruin an otherwise perfect day, so it would be best to have an arsenal of cold sore home remedies available at your disposal. This virus will cause aching and agony for about a week, but the pain can be alleviated and temporarily relieved. Most of these remedies are available at home or are easy to find.

Ice Pack
The most basic of cold sore home remedies would be the use of an ice pack or cold drink. Open the cooler, grab a few pieces of ice or a cold can of soda. Dabbing a cold surface on the affected areas would bring immediate relief, albeit temporary. Another readily available product that every refrigerator has is milk. Soak a cotton ball with milk and slowly apply to the painful areas. This simple action would also bring temporary relief from the pain, and drinking a glass of milk would be a good distraction.

Cold Sore on the Lower Lip

Cold Sore on the Lower Lip

Over the Counter Medicine
Over the counter pain killers are also recommended especially if the discomfort becomes unbearable. Such products include aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen. It doesn’t matter if you use a specific brand or something generic. While these are available without the need for prescription, it would be best to consult with a doctor. Other factors such as allergic reaction, age and pregnancy should also be taken into consideration. Health should never be compromised by taking medication, and discretion should always be used when ingesting something.

 

Licorice
The list of cold sore home remedies also includes licorice. Some studies reveal that licorice can stop the cold sore virus from spreading or getting worse. Licorice powder can be directly applied to the lip. Another alternative would be to chew on licorice candy instead. Some products claim to contain licorice, but may actually have different ingredients. Use a product that can be trusted, or create your own concoction using natural ingredients instead.

No Direct Contact
The infected area should be kept clean and protected at all times. Direct contact should be avoided, no matter how tempting it would seem. It should never be pinched or squeezed, as this would make things much worse. Needless to say, make up should never be worn over the cold sore. Direct exposure to sunlight should also be avoided. A good way to ensure this would be finding a lip balm or a product for the lip with sunscreen. Using petroleum jelly also prevents the lips from chapping or drying and may even protect it from bacteria infection.

Cold Sores (Herpes labialis)

Cold Sores (Herpes labialis)

Prevention
An ounce of prevention is definitely better than having to eventually resort to using cold sore home remedies. While the herpes simplex virus 1 lies dormant in the body until otherwise activated, it is important to know the triggers. The most common activators are stress, anxiety, a cold, or too much exposure to the heat of the sun. Once the virus is in the body, it never really goes away and may be reactivated at any time. Knowing the cold sore stages, you must know your limits when it comes to stressful situations. It would be best to set realistic expectations to avoid the agitation of feeling like a failure. Sun exposure is also easy to avoid; never stay long under the sun even when in the beach, and try to stay under the shades of trees or buildings when walking.

Sanitization
Cold sores are highly contagious. Always remember to wash up and sanitize to avoid contamination.  After applying ointments or remedies, you must always wash your fingers thoroughly. Toothbrushes should never be shared, and should be replaced at the onset of the infection, as well as upon healing. Since contamination can happen through the saliva, kissing or sharing glasses and mugs should be avoided. Remember to use serving spoons when sharing dishes with other people.

Cold sores do not have an immediate cure, and cold sore home remedies are often the best and only alternatives that a patient has. The best way to avoid the inconvenience and pain would be knowing what causes this and what needs to be done to avoid it. Also bear in mind that remedies are not meant as cures, and should be used cautiously.