Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1. This is a very contagious virus that will make a home in your nervous system once it gains entry into your system. It remains dormant in your system and when you're unwell, or your immune system lets its guard down for a few days, it makes an appearance.
How to Get Rid of Cold Sores
Cold sores, fever blisters or herpes labialis mean the same thing, in different names. Many people tend to get recurrent eruptions that cause considerable embarrassment. These sores are highly contagious. They occur around the lip region (they can appear on the gums, nose and surprisingly, even in one's eye), and can burst before oozing a clear liquid, often clearing up a few days or in a week or two.
» Rub benzyl alcohol over them, until they turn into scabs.
»Boost your immune system by taking in sources of vitamin C (through tablets, not citric foods), including vitamin B12 and lysine. This has shown significant reduction in the incidence of cold sores.
» If you are wondering about how to get rid of a cold sore in a day, then you can apply ice wrapped in a cloth, on the sore. Cold temperatures tend to slow down the growth of the virus.
» Stop eating acidic foods like oranges, tomatoes, or drinking aerated liquids, which may aggravate a cold sore.
» Apply garlic paste on the sore (leave for 20 minutes, twice a day - remove with cold water), and even eat one or two garlic cloves to heal them.
» Place a used tea bag for 15 minutes on the cold sore. Repeat several times during the day.
» You can apply pure vanilla extract on your sore at least four times a day. It will tone down the sore's appearance.
» You can crush a paracetamol tablet and make a thick paste out of it (using a few drops of water), then rub over sore. It won't be as visible the next day.
» Use a mixture of baking soda and waste; gently dab the paste to the sore and leave it on for 20 minutes. Do this twice a day, to help dry the sore.
» Apply a bit of hydrogen peroxide to allow the cold sore to dry out. You will that eventually it turns into a scab that can be removed, by applying Neosporin repeatedly. Do not use hydrogen peroxide to a sore that is damp, since this may extend the period of its existence. Instead, use it only when the sore is fresh, and halt usage just before it turns into a scab.
» Avoid touching the sore directly by wearing a pair of translucent gloves (available in stores), since the virus can spread upon contact with a healthy individual.
» Apply lip balm to your lips before you step outside, including sunscreen. An exposed cold sore can get aggravated when exposed to sunlight.
» Always wash your hands before and after handling a cold sore. Keep fingernails neatly trimmed, and use an antibacterial soap dispenser instead of a regular bar of soap.
» Soak a cotton ball in mouthwash and then apply it to the cold sore. Repeat several times during the day.
» Wash it with not-so-hot water and a good antibacterial soap (meant for the face - preferably liquid-based). The soap and hot water will help curb the spread of an infection as well as dry off the cold sore. Do not scrub the sore, for it may irritate it.
» Coat the cold sore in petroleum jelly before you sleep at night, and first thing in the morning after you've readied yourself for the day. This helps in containing the cold sore as well as stunt the possibility of an infection.
You should avoid touching it again and again as the less you touch, the less it will spread or progress. Also, touching increases the risk of spreading the virus to others. If you have recurrent bouts of cold sores, speak to your doctor. You can also try 2 to 3 remedies at once, like the application of ice, taking 1000 mg of lysine tablets and packing your cold sore with garlic paste.