The 7 Best Cold Sore Remedies

Cold Sores are caused by viruses called herpes simplex virus (HSV). They usually appear on your skin or mucous membranes such as mouth, nose, throat and eyes. These sores may cause itching, burning pain and redness. Sometimes they do not hurt at all but if left untreated will lead to other symptoms like fever, chills and headache. You can get infected with HSV even when there is no visible infection on your body.

The main ways to treat a cold sore are:

1) Avoid contact with the area where the sores have appeared.

If possible wash your hands thoroughly after touching these areas. Wash your clothes too, especially underwear and socks. This helps prevent spreading the virus from one part of your body to another.

2) Use ice packs applied directly on the affected area.

Do not rub ice packs over the sores. Ice packs must be kept away from direct sunlight and heat sources like radiators and electric blankets.

3) Apply warm water to the affected area.

Warm water is better than hot water because it warms up the surface of your skin faster which prevents further infection. If you have no choice but to use hot water, do not apply it to the cold sores.

4) Use a soft cloth soaked in warm water to clean the blisters.

Do not scrub the skin roughly with paper towels or any other abrasive materials as this causes irritation and worsens the sores.

5) Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly or any similar ointment on the cold sores before going to bed.

This prevents the sores from drying out and becoming infected. Do not apply ointments that contain alcohol or other chemicals as these usually worsen the condition.

6) Use pain relievers to relieve the soreness and aches caused by Herpes infection.

7) Take adequate rest in a cool dry place to avoid excessive sweating and fever which worsen cold sores.

The above mentioned are some of the most popular home remedies for Cold Sores. Always apply these methods as soon as you notice the first signs of Herpes infection. Once the virus affects the skin, it is important to treat it as soon as possible to prevent further damage. If you are suffering from frequent attacks of cold sores or if none of the home remedies are helping, consult your doctor immediately.

If you have a weak immune system and are susceptible to frequent attacks, you can take medicines that strengthen your immune system and prevent future attacks.

Sources & references used in this article:

Zinc gluconate lozenges for treating the common cold: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study by SB Mossad, ML Macknin, SV Mendendorp… – Annals of internal …, 1996 – acpjournals.org

Progress in understanding and using over-the-counter pharmaceuticals for syndromic surveillance by SF Magruder, SH Lewis, A Najmi, E Florio – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly …, 2004 – JSTOR

The green pharmacy: New discoveries in herbal remedies for common diseases and conditions from the world’s foremost authority on healing herbs by JA Duke – 1997 – books.google.com

Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold by H Hemilä, E Chalker – Cochrane database of systematic …, 2013 – cochranelibrary.com

Iron in the vegan diet by R Mangels – The Vegetarian Resource Group, 2015 – thehealthcoach1.com

Treatment of the common cold by M Simasek, D Blandino – American family physician, 2007 – aafp.org

A preliminary audit investigating remedy reactions including adverse events in routine homeopathic practice by E Thompson, S Barron, D Spence – Homeopathy, 2004 – Elsevier

ESCMID Guideline for the management of acute sore throat by M Paul – Clinical Microbiology and Infection, 2012 – ogur.org