So you wake up one morning just to see a small set of very tiny white coloured blisters on your lip, but by mid-day, they end up becoming a huge extremely painful cold sore. It’s very annoying and you just want to get rid of it. You delay your schedule, go to a doctor, pay his fees, then you get the prescription he gives you to a store and spend some more on the medicines, all the time thinking whether there is any other simpler way to get rid of it.
Well the dreadful fact that you keep hearing that there is no true cure for a cold sore is really true. But this doesn’t mean that you are stuck for eternity with this awful virus. There are simple remedies that help you prevent the virus from completely developing and becoming extremely painful and also making the virus heal a lot quicker than it usually does. And the best thing about these home remedies is that it saves you expensive time consuming trips to the doctor and your money spent on those full-of-side-effects medicines. All of these remedies use stuff easily available at homes or markets and to help you feel comfortable using them, I’ve included the scientific working behind them.
No the vanilla is not for a good smell. Vanilla extracts are well known famous remedies for cold sore. Just like any other virus, a cold sore virus is afraid of an anti-virus environment. Vanilla extracts are very good at providing this environment. Vanilla contains a slight touch of alcohol and as alcohol is an anti-bacterial, it provides an awesome anti-viral environment, which slows down the viral activity of the cold sore and prevents it from further spreading. It makes it hard for the virus to thrive and speeds up the healing of the infection.
You will need:
- Real and pure vanilla extract.
- A cotton pad.
What you have to do is simple:
- Fully soak a cotton pad in vanilla extract.
- Use the soaked cotton pad directly on the infected area and keep it on the area for about a minute.
- Repeat this process at least 4 times a day until the infection dies out.
Milk is not just famous for making your bones stronger. If you do a little bit of research, you will find out that milk can also boost your immune system. Milk contains immunoglobulins that are very essential anti-bodies for fighting viruses and preventing them. So milk won’t just help you get rid of cold sores better but it will also help you to prevent frequent outbreaks of the cold sore. It does this by inhibiting the amino acid that plays a part in the outbreak of the virus. Another important thing to remember is that it is best if you use WHOLE milk.
All that you will need is:
- A cup of milk.
- Additional 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk.
- Cotton pads or cotton balls.
What you need to do is:
- Drink the cup of milk daily.
- Bring the tablespoon of milk to room temperature or make it cold.
- Soak the cotton pad or cotton ball in the tablespoon of milk.
- Apply it on the infected area and leave for several minutes before dabbing it off with a clean moist towel.
Drink the cup of milk daily even when you don’t have an outbreak of cold sore and start applying the milk to infected area as soon as you start to feel slight tingling that basically shows that a cold sore is about to burst out.
- MINT OIL:
Peppermint oil, to be exact, has the properties of killing the virus that has surfaced above the skin cells just as the erupted cold sore. It does not affect the virus that is dormant inside your skin so it won’t prevent future outbreaks but it soothes the pain of an erupted cold sore as it gives a cooling sensation and it also speeds up the healing.
The main ingredients for this remedy are:
- Peppermint oil of good quality.
- Some fresh water.
- Cotton bud or cotton swab.
The procedure to be followed:
- Rinse your cold sore with a bit of water to clean up the stuff that might block peppermint oil from coming in contact with the virus.
- Dip the cotton swab first in water and then in peppermint oil to dilute the peppermint oil as peppermint oil might cause irritation.
- Apply it on the cold sore area.
- Repeat this at-least twice a day.
- ECHINACEA TEA:
Another immune system booster is Echinacea tea. The reason that we are focussing so much on immune system is that cold sores mostly erupt when your immune system weakens. And your immune system is the one that heals the virus too. So a better immune system will lead to lesser frequent and shorter outbreaks of cold sore and Echinacea tea is a master when it comes to immune system boost.
It is fairly simple. All you need is:
- 1 tea-bag of Echinacea tea or a tablespoon of tea.
- A cup of boiling hot water.
Yes you guessed it right. If you know how to make tea, you already know how to use this remedy. For those of you who don’t know how to make tea, it is preferred that you get the tea-bags and just follow the steps:
- Put the tea-bag in a cup before pouring water in it.
- Pour boiling hot water and fill up the whole cup.
- Put 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar according to your taste and mix it well.
- Drink this tea regularly instead of normal tea.
- VITAMIN E & C FOODS:
Continuing our hunt for a stronger immune system, our next contender is vitamin-C. Vitamin-C has been known for ages now for boosting the white blood cells count. White blood cells are the army troops of the immune system for its battle against the viruses. So the more white blood cells that you have, the stronger your side becomes for fighting off the bad virus and hence your cold sore heals up quicker. Vitamin-E on the other end is responsible to rid you of the scars that are formed due to cold sores and it eases up the pain of cold sores as well.
Now the best way to get these vitamins into your system is through your diet. We will give you a list of all the foods that are rich in these vitamins so you can decide what changes you need, in your diet, to get yourself prepared for battle against the cold sore.
- Red berries.
- Red and green bell peppers.
- Green vegetables (leafy ones preferred).
- Whole grain.
Corn starch has a very smooth and silky texture. Just by looking at it you can say that it will give a soothing feeling. Well it actually does give a soothing feeling. Corn starch will relieve you of that itching and scratchy feeling and at the same time it will make the environment harsh for the cold sore virus.
The pH of the virus is acidic which causes the itching. Corn starch neutralises that acidic pH which will relieve you of the itch and it becomes hard for the virus to survive in a neutral pH. The things you will need are:
- A tablespoon of cornstarch.
- Some fresh water.
What you do is:
- Put the tablespoon of corn starch in a bowl.
- Add one teaspoon of fresh water and mix it.
- Very slowly add small amounts of water and keep mixing until you get a paste.
- Apply the paste on the cold sore at night and wash it off in the morning.
- Repeat it every night until the cold sore exists.
- WITCH HAZEL:
Witch hazel is a very ancient North American discovery. It is extracted from the bark of a certain tree. But don’t worry you won’t have to travel to North America and look for the tree you can extract it from. Witch hazel is nowadays easily available in all general stores or pharmacies. It is also used as an after shave too. It is mostly used in insect bites, blisters, bruises and, off course, cold sores.
So go out to the market and make sure you have these stuff:
- Witch hazel.
- Cotton pad or cotton swab.
What you have to do is:
- Take out one teaspoon of witch hazel in a cup.
- Soak the cotton pads in it.
- Apply it directly to the infected area and leave it.
- Repeat this 2 times a day.
Aloe Vera has been famous for its medicinal properties and it is said to be the best medicine for almost all of the skin related problems including burn marks and cold sores. At the same time, aloe Vera is not expensive or hard to come by. The best tip for you would be to keep an aloe Vera plant in your house. They are easy to find and keep. Aloe Vera will relieve you of the pain, will fight of the bacteria and will make it heal faster. Cool it in a refrigerator to further easy out the pain.
The only things you need are:
- Either an aloe Vera plant or a bottle of pure aloe Vera gel.
- Cotton pads.
I’ll tell you how to apply it for both cases.
- If you have an aloe Vera plant, cut off a small portion of the tip of its thick leaves.
- Take out the gall from inside using the cotton pads and apply it directly on the infected area.
- If you have a gel, well then simply use the cotton pad to apply half tablespoon of it on the infected area.
Yes what you are thinking is correct that ice will be used mostly for the pain relief. And most people try it too when they get a cold sore. But what you don’t know is that icing a cold sore also makes it heal quicker. The same effect can be achieved by eating a chilling ice sickle but the juice in it will give an acidic leftover which will irritate even more than before.
The sudden change in temperature kills the bacteria in the infection and then if you apply petroleum jelly over it, it prevents more bacteria from coming in contact with it again.
So things that you need are simple:
- 1 or 2 ice cubes or you can even use an ice pack.
- Petroleum jelly.
The directions of use are also very easy.
- Hold the nice chilly ice cube or ice pack to your face on the infected area.
- When you are done, apply a little bit of petroleum jelly over it.
This is mostly a preventive measure than a curing remedy, which is equally important. If there are no outbreaks of the cold sore then there are no needs for the remedies in the first place. The most common and most immediate trigger for the cold sore is the exposure to the sun, or more precisely, the UV radiations. So a use of sunscreen is very important to prevent outbreaks.
- If you are a female, you can buy a sunscreen lipstick with a SPF of above 15.
- If you are a male, you can buy a lip balm with sunscreen.
- You can also use a normal sunscreen of SPF of above 15.
- PETROLLEUM JELLY:
Most women try to cover up a cold sore with a makeup. Make up just makes it worse as the chemicals in the makeup react with the cold sore. So the best way to cover it up is to use a petroleum jelly or Vaseline.
Petroleum jelly not only keeps the area from drying out and itching, but is also acts as a covering shield against germs and bacteria that are trying to attack. So the best time to apply a petroleum jelly is right after icing it as defined above. Petroleum also helps to speed up the healing and also provides a soothing effect when applied.
- TRIGGERS TO AVOID:
Continuing our journey on how to prevent any future outbreaks of the cold sore to keep you away from the incoming pain, we have listed some of the most common triggers that trigger the dormant virus inside your skin to come out and form a cold sore. You need to make sure to avoid these triggers as much as you can if you have developed cold sore even once.
- Sunlight exposure.
- Stress or fatigue.
- Other infections like cold, flu etc.
- Amy kind of dental work.
- Food allergies.
- Weak immune system. (see immune system improving remedies above)
Licorice is another one of the remedies that help fight against the virus. Licorice is a very powerful weapon against cold sore and it just stops the virus right where it is and prevents any further growth of it. Licorice contains glycyrrhizic acid which is the chemical responsible for its ability to fight against the virus.
Now there are many ways in which you can use licorice. We are listing the best ways in the order of decreasing effecting rate.
- Take licorice powder 1 tablespoon and mix it with half teaspoon of water or however much you need to make a licorice paste. Once a day, use the creamy paste on the infected area, leaving it for a few hours each time.
- Drink licorice tea daily.
- Eat licorice whip making sure that it is pure licorice (mass licorice).
- HYDROGEN PEROXIDE:
You, most probably, would have used hydrogen peroxide on your cuts and scratches. It is used as a dis-infector. So why not use it on cold sores to dis-infect them and speed up its healing. You already know how to use it.
- 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide.
- Some cotton balls.
- Soak up hydrogen peroxide on the cotton ball.
- Dab it on the infected area. It will sting just as it stings on cuts.
- Leave it for 5 minutes.
- AVOID TOUCHING:
The simplest one for last. Almost everyone you meet would be telling you this that don’t touch it! But we want to write it here to emphasize the importance of this. When the virus is awake and on its peak, it is prone to spread. Touching it will increase the infected area of the virus as it will use your touch to spread itself.
So just control yourself and make sure that you DONOT TOUCH IT AT ALL. No scratching, squeezing or even touching to check if it’s still there.
I repeat again that there is no permanent cure for a cold sore virus and it tends to keep coming back. But this does not mean that you are doomed to live with the pain and suffering. These remedies will help you out to ease out the pain and to exceptionally increase the healing rate of the virus. So that whenever the virus starts to appear, you will know immediately what to do to save yourself from the pain that makes you have trouble even eating and drinking.
The best way of spending a peaceful life, free of a cold sore, is not to catch the virus in the first place. The most common way this virus is caught, is through contact with the saliva of an infected person. Make a habit of not drinking from glasses on public water coolers or using someone else’s spoon, towel etc.
Stop worrying about the cold sores, avoid the triggers that are given above and keep at a look out for the early symptoms of a cold sore-the slight tingling feeling on the infected area-and immediately start the remedies when you feel you are going to develop a cold sore, and the cold sore won’t last longer than a few days.
- If you chose a treatment for your cold sore, try focusing on that particular treatment and don’t try several remedies at one time.
- Avoid Makeup on the cold sores as it will worsen the condition as makeup has chemicals which are harmful.
- Include vitamin C and fresh vegetables in your diet.
- Don’t expose your skin to sun.
- Don’t touch your sore again and again as it will lead to bacteria and germs on your sore which increases the risk of infection.
- Do not intake oily foods.