How to get rid of a cold sore
A cold sore is a common viral infection which usually develops on the lips around your mouth. Cold sores are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) for some cases. Similar to a common cold, a cold sore is contagious and can be easily spread through contact with infected body fluids.
Symptoms or signs of cold blisters are varied, depending on whether it is the first outbreak or a recurrence. If it is the first outbreak, the symptoms may not appear for 20 days after someone exposed to the virus.
If it’s a recurrence, it may come in the previous area and seems less severe than the first outbreak. The symptoms of cold sores including headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, painful gum, and fever.
Since the viruses cause ulcers which can be unsightly and painful, many of us always try to look for ways on how to get rid of a cold sore. So, if you’re currently trying to combat the condition, here are some treatments on how to get rid of a cold sore.
1. Take an OTC medicine. You can use an over-the-counter (OTC) antiviral medicine. Many people use tubes of docosanol (Abreva) to start with the OTC option. You can also opt for the alternatives: Famciclovir (available as an oral medication), Penciclovir (Denavir; available as a cream), Valacyclovir (Valtrex; available as a tablet), Acyclovir (Zovirax; available in oral form and as a topical cream).
2. Use home remedies. You can try a complementary approach toward how to get rid of cold sores. Several home remedies are proven to reduce the pain and faster healing process.
But, you'd better talk to your doctor about the home remedies you will take. When you experience reactions like irritants or allergies, you have to stop your treatment. Here are several home remedies you can try to improve your condition:
- Apple cider vinegar. This vinegar can fight off bacteria, viruses, and other germs. Only apply once or twice per day and be careful because it sometimes can irritate your skin if used too much.
- Tea tree oil. This could be your cold sores' choice of remedy. It is proved to fight off the herpes simplex virus.
- Propolis. This is a bee product that can help to heal wounds and skin lesions quickly.
- Others: You can also use kanuka honey, lemon balm, peppermint oil, and lysine.