Cold sores are characterized by outbreaks of small, painful, blisters that take several days to heal. Also called fever blisters, they are caused by the herpes simplex virus (basically HSV-1). The unfortunate part is, sores are developed in the outer edge of lips, areas around the mouth and other prominent areas of the face. For some people, cold sores are more than a cosmetic problem, especially those who have immune system disorders and underlying diseases. Thus, prompt cold sore treatment that works fast is crucial to avoid future complications.
Ways to Treat Cold Sores Fast
In majority of the cases, cold sore outbreak is self-limiting, meaning the blisters heal naturally after taking their own course. First, they break open, release a clear fluid and then crust over. All these stages may take anywhere from 7 to 14 days. Nevertheless, with reliable cold sore treatment approaches, the duration can be shortened by some days. Also, treatment for fever blisters is focused on soothing pain, avoiding transmission, and managing the discomfort.
Identify Initial Symptoms
Getting rid of cold sores quickly is all about identifying the warning symptoms and acting fast. At the tingling phase or before sores develop, apply cold compresses many times a day to suppress sore eruption. The cold action also helps in minimizing growth activity of herpes virus. Regarding cold sore treatment for kids, eating a Popsicle works in numbing the pain for some time. The same pain relieving effect is provided by ice cream, cool drinks, and foods.
Protect Sores and Avoid Spreading
The best cold sore treatment begins at home. Remember that the causal virus is transmittable from one infected person to another through mouth kissing and sharing personal items (utensils, clothes). So, self-care tips should be followed stringently at the time of sore eruptions to contain virus. Another trick for rapid healing of cold sores is not touching the affected areas. In case of applying creams and topical ointments over sores, do not forget to wash hands immediately.
Natural Cold Sore Treatment
A simple remedy for treating cold sores fast is applying used tea bags over the sores. As we already know, tea contains tannic acid, which is a strong antiviral compound. Other effectual herbal remedies for quick healing of cold sores are using tea tree oil, applying fresh aloe vera extract and witch hazel essential oil. These herbal products possess antiviral properties, which are good for killing viruses, and promoting quick healing of fever blisters.
Make Dietary Changes
Cold sore treatment at home involves having a well-balanced diet to boost the body's natural defense mechanism. Try to avoid foods and fruit juices that contain citric acids in large amounts. Though there is no clinical proof, having salty foods is also believed to exacerbate existing blisters. Thus, eliminate acidic and salty foods from the diet, until sores disappear completely. Last but not the least, drink lots of water to promote flushing of the virus from the body, and also to avoid dehydration symptoms.
OTC Medicine for Cold Sores
When we say cold sore treatment over the counter, topical creams and oral tablets available without prescription are used to combat these outbreaks. To get relief from cold sore pain, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and other painkillers can be taken in specific dosage. They are associated with less side effects, hence, considered safe for treating cold sore pain in children. In addition to these, one can look for FDA approved antiviral medication for cold sore treatment.
Other Treatment Products for Cold Sore
Complementary treatments for cold sores include using lysine based supplements and lip balms. While lip balm gives a moisturizing effect and aids in quick healing of the blisters, regular intake of lysine supplements is claimed to be an effectual preventive measure. While some people receive positive results from vitamin C intake, others experience worsening symptoms. Hence, to be on the safer side, it is best to take a doctor's guidance concerning these treatment options for cold sores.
When fever blisters are in the healing phase, avoid picking them, and most importantly wash hands frequently with soap and water. Touching blisters with unwashed hands runs a high risk for further infection, and unwanted spreading of the virus to the remaining body parts, and also to other people. So, use cold sore home remedies and OTC medicine, and let the body's immune system do its work for natural recovery. If complete healing is not achieved within 10 to 14 days, seek medical attention for further therapeutic intervention.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.