Many of us have experienced cold sores or fever blisters that are embarrassing, annoying and painful. They are caused by both herpes simplex type 1 virus and type 2 virus. This contagious virus can infect 90% of people around the world and you cannot get rid of it easily. It will happily remain viable in the nerve fibers of the original infection area for life. Of the 90% people who are infected with herpes simplex, 66% will develop cold sores once or more than once in a year.
Herpes virus takes the opportunity to grow when you are sick, stressed or have a weak immune system. The tiny virus hiding in the nerve fibers rises up to the surface and produces other tiny viruses. The replication process leads to growth of millions of viruses that cause skin cells to explode and develop cold sores.
Cold Sores Treatment
If you want to get rid of them really fast, you should remain alert on any slight irritation or tingling sensation in your skin. This sensation is due to the movement of the virus towards the skin surface and you should immediately apply ice on the area. The low temperature reduces the replication of virus, thus halting the development of more viruses. Many times it makes the virus inactive and return to the dormant state in nerve endings.
You can cover the area with petroleum jelly, as it will help in speeding the healing process and prevent it from a secondary infection. You should keep the area affected dry. Moisture leads to growth of canker. The canker sore ulcer will heal quickly, when the skin is dry and clean. Alcohol is the best disinfectant and you can use any type of alcohol in your house for the treatment. Just dip cotton in alcohol and rub it over the canker sore. Mind you, it will sting, but will surely help in healing the infection. Apart from alcohol, you can also apply garlic oil on it. You should mix a few drops of olive oil with garlic oil before application. This is because garlic oil will irritate sensitive skin a lot.
You should eat foods that are rich in amino acid lysine. Eat more potatoes and dairy products to get more of this enzyme. You get supplements of lysine, but do not use it if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Another effective method is the application of lemon balm or echinacea tea tree oil. You can even place warm tea bags over the cold sores as they contain antiviral properties. Just boil them and place them on the cold sore for 15 to 20 minutes.
You should avoid touching and scratching the cold sores. The more you touch, the more likely they will spread. The pus or fluid oozing out of the fever blister will lead it to spread to different skin areas or even some other person.
If it becomes too painful or irritating and you can't resist touching it or scratching it, then try this remedy. Take a clean towel, hot water and anti bacterial soap. Soak the antibacterial soap in hot water and dip the towel in the hot soapy liquid. Scrub it gently with the towel. It will help reduce the infection, cleanse the pus and prevent further spreading.
Also, recognize the possible triggers. It can be triggered by certain factors like menstruation, anxiety, salty or acidic foods, extreme exposure to sun or cold winds, flu, cold, etc. If you find that it's going to appear, then take immediate action.
If your cold sores do not heal in a week, visit a doctor. He may prescribe you some anti viral medications. You may even try acupuncture. Maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle to avoid development of cold sores.