The Most Effective Treatments and Cures for Cold Sores (Herpes labialis)
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Cold sores (Herpes labialis), which are also known as fever blisters, are caused
by the Herpes Simplex Virus Type I. They are a painful and highly contagious symptom
of having been exposed to the virus through contact, usually by kissing, urogenital
contact, and sharing utensils. The first outbreak usually occurs within a week of
initial exposure. Cold sores on the lips and face are unsightly and embarrassing
for the sufferer. They make themselves known with a tingling or extra sensitivity
a few days before they erupt, the break out occurs, and lasts for ten to fourteen
days, but sometimes as long as twenty days. The lesions generally appear on the lip,
though sometimes they are on the fingers or the nostrils. There are many different
treatments for cold sores and although you will probably hear that there is no cure,
this is NOT true.
Once you've had a cold sore, there is always a good possibility that you will have them again. This is because after you've had your first lesion and it has run its course, the virus remains dormant in the nerve cells of your skin near the site of the original outbreak. Medical professionals will tell you that there is nothing that can be done to prevent them (which is NOT true again). It is known that certain events or exposures can increase the chance of a recurrence if you don’t treat your cold sores properly.
The most common catalysts for fever blisters reappearing are stress, fever, exhaustion
and menstruation. Cold sores make themselves known as fluid-
When you get a cold sore, it hurts and it looks bad, and all you want is for it to go away. The review above outlines the top 3 cures for cold sores. The following is some more information about some of the expensive and less effective treatments;
A new medication called Abreva is available over the counter, and has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of cold sores. It is an ointment that works by building up and strengthening the walls of the cells that surround those affected by the virus, thus stopping the spread of the lesions and shortening the healing time. Lidocaine and Benzocaine are available over the counter and act as numbing agents, as does ice. Analgesics such as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen can also help.
There is also some anecdotal evidence that herbal remedies will alleviate some of
the symptoms and shorten an outbreak. The most popular of these cures is cold milk
dabbed on with a cotton ball, real licorice powder pressed directly onto the sores,
and taking St. Johns Wort. Covering the sores with petroleum jelly is said to speed
healing and protect the surrounding skin.
If you are a cold sore sufferer, there are steps that you can take to keep the virus from spreading and prevent future outbreaks. Most of the cold sore treatment precautions are directly related to the virus' high level of contagion. When you have fever blisters, do not engage in behavior that will put others at risk. You will be contagious from a few days before the blisters appear until a few days after it seems healed.
Practice good hygiene, including frequent hand washing. Do not attempt to cover the lesions with makeup, as this will only make them worse. Finally, when you are finished with an outbreak and the lesions are gone, make sure to discard your toothbrush and replace it with a new one.
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