How to Get Rid of a Cold Sore as Quick as Possible

How to Get Rid of a Cold Sore as Quick as Possible

Cold sores are a variance of ulcers that affect almost all of us at some point during our lifetime. But what causes them, how can we prevent them, and if we get a cold sore, how can we get rid of it?

What Are Cold Sores?

Cold sores are small blisters on and around the lips and occasionally inside the mouth. They should not be confused with mouth ulcers, usually caused by biting the inside of your mouth or consuming hot, hard or sharp food and drink.

Symptoms of Cold Sores

The main symptom of a cold sore is a small fluid-filled blister around the mouth. When the blister bursts, it leaves a yellow crust or scab on the lips. A burning or tingling sensation can also be felt on the lips before a cold sore develops and any visible symptoms can be seen.

A sore throat and swollen tonsils indicate that a cold sore is about to develop as well as halitosis and the development of mouth ulcers on the inside of the mouth.

Causes of Cold Sores

Unlike mouth ulcers, cold sores are caused by a viral infection of the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). There are two strains of this virus; HSV-1 is, by far, the most common cause of cold sores, whereas HSV-2 (the virus that causes genital herpes) only affects the lips if it is transmitted through oral sex.

HSV is highly-contagious through close contact and, once contracted, can remain dormant and not cause any visible effects. There are specific ‘triggers’ that can cause the HSV virus to change from its dormant state and manifest in a cold sore, including:

  • Emotional stress
  • Tiredness
  • Depression
  • Menstruation
  • Strong sunlight
  • Fevers and colds
  • A cut or abrasion to the lips

How To Get Rid of Cold Sores

Cold sores usually heal independently, without treatment, within a week to ten days. There are, however, several treatments that help speed up the recovery process. Firstly, antiviral cold sore creams, gels and patches can be obtained over the counter from your local pharmacy or online. Brand names such as Zovirax specialise in quickly getting rid of the HSV virus.

If you get cold sores regularly, you’ll be aware of a tingling sensation on your lips before they appear. As soon as you feel this sensation, apply the antiviral treatment.

There are also several homoeopathic treatments available, although their effectiveness is questionable. Non-antiviral cold sore creams can also be used – they won’t make the cold sore heal any quicker but can help alleviate some pain and discomfort.

Suppose the pain of your cold sore is unbearable. In that case, you can use painkillers such as Ibuprofen to take the edge off. However, don’t use them if you suffer from peptic ulcers or stomach ulcers, as they are known to aggravate these conditions. 

Avoid touching your cold sore, as you may spread the infection to other parts of your body or someone else. In addition, avoid close-contact activities such as kissing and oral sex. Ensure that you do not share your toothbrush, razor or other items that come close to your cold sores with others.

If you have unintentionally touched your cold sore, wash your hands, preferably with an antibacterial handwash. Avoiding hot, salty, acidic and spicy foods can also aid your recovery.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle also contributes to healing and preventing cold sores. A good diet and regular exercise will build up your immune system and reduce stress levels resulting in your body being able to cope better with infections of all types, including cold sores.

Barry Beannew

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *