Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus, which is believed to lie dormant in certain nerve cells of the body until it is activated by stress, anxiety, a cold, or excessive exposure to the sun. The sores last anywhere from 7 to 14 days. Although some use the terms “cold sore” and “canker sore” interchangeably, they are different.
The herpes simplex virus infects around 90 percent of the US population and although many people never experience cold sore outbreaks, it can make life unbearable for the many people who do whenever they suffer an attack. However, by taking a few simple precautions you may be able to prevent cold sores from occurring so regularly and when they do there severity is often reduced and one of these habits is simply to change your eating habits.
The first cold sore symptoms noticed by many sufferers is a tingling sensation, which then blisters. The blister is filled with a colorless liquid and usually bursts after a few days, weeping the liquid and leaving an open sore that is both unpleasant to see and painful. However, the sore crusts over after a few days, and when the scab finally disappears the new skin underneath is scar free.
Cold sores are best treated as early as possible. Believe it or not, there is a lot of talk about gelatin free yoghurt being one of the best home remedies. Many people also advice to use Vaseline to cut down on the cracking and the painful dryness that comes along with having a cold sore. Lemon balm is also very efficient as it can dramatically speed up the healing time.
The other method for tackling cold sores when they appear is through natural remedies, some of which date back to Roman times. One popular treatment is to take L-Lysine supplements which can act to reduce the severity of attacks and the application of ice to the infected area when the tingling sensation appears is also popular.
One popular home remedy that is available in just about every home is the application of ice to the affected area. As soon as the tingling sensation is felt, an icepack should be applied for up to thirty minutes. It is probable that the cooling action of the ice prevents the virus from replicating, minimizing the effects of the outbreak, and some people claim it prevents the blister from appearing at all.
Apply acyclovir (take for instance over-the-counter Zovirax cold sore cream) on the cold sore immediately upon discovery of the symptoms. Do this for 5 times daily over the next 5 days. It would help to reduce the duration of the outbreak.