Cold Sore Relief & Treatments
A cold sore is a blister like lesion usually appearing on the lips. It is caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus. A cold sore is most likely to erupt during times of stress, when the immune system is low or after trauma to the lips (eg. sunburn or windburn).
Cold sores usually clear up after a week or two without leaving any scars. However, they can be highly contagious and the virus can spread between people by direct physical contact.
As well as the visible blister spot, other symptoms include a fever, nausea, headaches, pain and swelling in the mouth, sore throat, swollen glands and dehydration.
Although the Herpes Simplex virus can remain dormant in many people, there are several factors which can cause the virus to become active, in turn, leading to cold sores. These factors include tiredness & fatigue, a break in the skin near the affected area, menstruation, stress or exposure to strong sunlight.
Cold Sore Treatments
Treatment options for cold sores include anti-viral medications, natural medicines as well as patches and creams.
Anti-viral medications can help reduce the severity and duration of the blister and in some cases even prevent the eruption of the blister. These medications must be used at the first sign of symptoms, which is usually a tingling sensation around the mouth. These medications come in the form of creams and tablets.
Natural medicines can help treat cold sores via the use of Lysine to reduce symptoms and prevent outbreaks, or B-group vitamins to aid the body at times of stress and low immunity. Lysine has the capacity to fight the symptoms of cold sores and reduces the number of outbreaks, severity and healing time. May be taken preventatively or at higher doses during an outbreak. High dose B group vitamins are often deficient during times of stress/low immunity. By supplementing this vitamin group, one can ensure that they are not prone to the virus becoming active.
Specialised patches can be used to cover the blister, providing pain relief and speeding the healing process. Creams containing a local anaesthetics and antibacterial agent can also provide pain relief and prevent a secondary bacterial infection.
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