Did you know around ninety per cent of the world population is bound to get a cold sore at least once throughout their lives? This extreme statistic goes a long way to show how this issue, also known as fever blisters or oral herpes, is the bane of our lives. Not only do they hurt, but they can be rather unsightly especially since they generally occur in patches on and around our lips. Realistically, cold sores last for around two or four weeks before they start going away on their own but that is honestly a month too long. If you are one who refuses to leave your home each time these cold sores strike, we are here to alleviate your concerns. Thankfully, there are many ways in which you can relieve the symptoms of your cold sores and also quicken the recovery process.
What Are Cold Sores?
Cold sores are a common viral infection caused by strains of the herpes simplex virus (HSV) and they exist as little fluid-filled blisters that occur on or around your lips. Since they are most often found in groups called patches, when the blisters break, a crust usually forms over the sores before the healing process begins. If you don’t already know, cold sores are usually passed from person to person through close contact like kissing and sharing personal possessions like cups and utensils.
Cold sores usually happen in stages. At the start, most would start to feel a tingling sensation in the region around their lips before a small and painful spot would appear. Soon after, small fluid-filled blisters would pop out at the area around the edge of the lips. Most of the time, these blisters would burst and this ends up as open sores that might ooze with fluid. The healing process of about two weeks starts when the crusting starts happening over the wounds. These symptoms could vary for some but most cold sores typically take a month to recover completely.
Getting Rid Of Cold Sores
Read on to discover three ways in which you can stop your cold sores in the quickest possible time!
Tea Tree Oil
Something that has been frequently talked about in treating cold sores fast is tea tree oil since it has been found to contain antiviral properties that eliminate those infection-causing viruses in your body. This would serve you good in speeding up the recovery process. All you need to do is to douse a cotton swab with tea tree oil and dab at your sore around four to five times a day. As an added bonus, tea tree oil is perfect as a way to deal with acne as well — just mix a few drops of tea tree oil with witch hazel and apply that mixture to the affected area once a day with a cotton swab. As a reminder, do not use the same cotton swab for your cold sores to deal with your acne or you could inadvertently be spreading your cold sores to the other parts of your face.
You can expect sweet relief with peppermint oil on your cold sores. This is because of how peppermint oil contains high levels of virucidal activity to help destroy the herpes simplex virus in your system. If you are struggling with the recurring occurrence of cold sores, the regular application of peppermint oil onto your lip would definitely help. How this is done is by applying some peppermint oil on a cotton ball and dabbing it straight to your cold sore. After 20 minutes, rinse it off with water. Due to the tingling and refreshing sensation of peppermint, it would ease off those itching and scratching.
Easy as it is, a cube of ice could just be that thing to help relieve the itching that cold sores bring. When you reduce the swelling and itching, what you are effectively doing is stopping the unintentional scratching of your cold sores, which could actually cause it to itch even more and leave a scar. This simple remedy to help relieve the symptoms of cold sores could be done just about anywhere. If your office doesn’t have a refrigerator for you to fetch an ice cube or two, the same cup of ice you get at the food court would work just as well. Just hold the ice cube over the cold sore till it melts and this would help speed up the healing process.
Prevention Over Cure
Prevention really is the key to ensure you do not develop cold sores frequently. To help avoid spreading cold sores to others or the contracting of cold sores, keep your distance from others when you or your close ones have blisters as skin-to-skin contact would actually cause the virus to spread. Similarly, the sharing of personal possessions like towels, lip balms and your common cutleries could cause the virus to spread like wildfire. Since all humans have been known to unconsciously touch their faces, always remember to keep your hands clean by thoroughly washing it at the sink or with a disinfectant before you do anything. A harmless-looking activity like using an iPad could possibly leave behind a trail of cold sores for subsequent users.