If you are someone who gets cold sores, what you have no doubt noticed, is that they only come on when you have some important event, or when you are taking pictures for something. A cold sore is not only irritating and painful, it is something that is unsightly. Caused by the herpes simplex virus, which can cause all sorts of problems in the body, it is something that can ruin your whole week. You can have a cold sore almost anywhere on your face but they tend to form around the mouth, and span even as high as the nose. If you have one, you know that it is coming by the tingling sensation that gives you the heads up. The problem with a cold sore is that the more you touch it, the more you spread it. That is why it critical that you not pick at it or touch any other part of the body if you have touched it.
It is possible to spread herpes; it is a highly contagious disease. The worst part about a cold sore is that once you have had one, you are more susceptible to have more. The herpes virus lays dormant in your body waiting to make its resurgence. That is why it is not coincidence that they reappear when you have something stressful in your life. It is the stress that makes you more susceptible to the virus resurgence. The immune system is the key to keeping a cold sore at bay.
Prevention is always the best way to deal with a cold sore.
1. Take vitamin C
When you feel a cold sore coming on, load up on the vitamin C. Vitamin C will give your immune system a boost to fight against the cold sore. When your immune system fights back, it will make the cold sore more short-lived, often cutting the recovery time and the size of the sore.
Don’t ever share lip balm or lipstick with someone else. Even if they are not symptomatic, it is possible for them to spread the virus to you. When you come into contact with the herpes virus, it is more likely that it will be able to express itself in your body. If you notice that someone has a cold sore, make sure to hold off on kissing until it is completely healed. Spreading from one person to another is done easily.
Echinacea is a known immune system builder. By supplementing with it, you can ensure that your immune system won’t hit the type of low needed to allow the virus to break out. Take it on a regular basis for prevention. On the first sight of a cold sore, load up by taking twice the amount.
4. Wear sunscreen on your lips
Sun exposure can contribute to getting cold sores on your lips. When you expose the skin of your lips to the sun, it increases the likelihood that you will have an outbreak. Whether you are hitting the beach or heading out skiing, it makes no difference. For best results, use it on a daily basis as a routine to protect the delicate skin on your lips from having a herpes outbreak.
5. Sea salt
To draw out the virus and make it unlikely that it will be able to spread, take a cotton swab and wet it slightly. Put sea salt on the tip of it and apply it to the cold sore. You will instantly feel a sting that lets you know that it is drying out the sore and stopping the virus from spreading. Sea salt will not only stop the spread of the cold sore, it will also help to make the viral infection last a shorter period of time.
6. Vanilla extract
Vanilla extract is an unlikely cure, but why not give it a try, it will taste good too. Perhaps for the alcohol content in it, when applied to a cold sore, it instantly stops the tingling feeling. Use a cotton swab to apply it to the cold sore to prevent it from spreading.
7. Get rid of your toothbrush
You may not think about how it spreads, but if you have a cold sore you want to throw out your toothbrush. If you have the virus on your toothbrush, it is easy for you to reinfect yourself. Wait until the infection is over, and once you see it has healed get rid of the toothbrush for a new one.
8. Hydrogen peroxide
A known killer for bacteria and viruses, putting hydrogen peroxide on a cold sore is a great way to kill the growing virus. Put it on a cotton swab and apply it directly to the sore itself. It can be very drying, however, so once the tingling period is over you may want to stop applying it. Be prepared, of all the ways to get rid of a cold sore, this is one that can be quite painful.
9. Witch Hazel
Another not-so-pleasant treatment for a cold sore is witch hazel. A known astringent, it will help to kill the virus that causes the cold sore. It can also help to prevent the spread of it. Dab a cotton swab into witch hazel and apply it to the cold sore directly. It will sting just as much as the peroxide, but some people like the fact that they know it is working.
10. Aloe gel
Aloe gel has been known through the centuries to help with skin conditions. It is a great way to aid in the healing of a cold sore. During the tingling stage, it may not help much to stop the virus, but once the virus is starting to dry up, it will prevent the sore from opening and exposing the skin around it to reinfection. It is also a great way to soothe the skin so that it doesn’t hurt if it does crack. Apply Aloe gel liberally at the site of the cold sore.