Cold Sore Prevention and Treatment
The harsh weather these wintery months is not the only cold-related concern to prepare for, cold sores can arise suddenly and cause a great deal of annoyance. There is no need to panic however as cold sores are extremely common and typically disappear on their own in two to three weeks! While they can be frustrating to hide and can test our patience, cold sores can be treated quickly with some natural home remedies to lighten their appearance and duration.
Most natural cold sore remedies target one or more of the following factors which can be used separately or in combination, based on your skin type and sensitivity. If you are unsure how any home remedy may affect your skin, always consult your doctor for their professional advice.
Size and Appearance
Lip balm: Keep your lip and mouth area from dryness by applying lip balm, even over the affected area. Look for lip balms with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 to further prevent skin dryness. Lemon containing lip balm has several antiviral properties which can be effective at stopping the growth of cold sores in their early stage. Make sure not to share any applied lip balm containers and to throw them out once the cold sore is healed.
Peppermint Oil: This essential oil is a popular natural remedy for cold sores with its antiviral properties. Peppermint oil can help calm the symptoms of activated viral strains like cold sores. For your first use of peppermint oil, as with all essential oils, spot test your skin's reaction by applying a drop diluted with water to your elbow. Once tested safely, the diluted oil can be gently applied to treat your cleaned cold sore with a cotton swab, two or three times daily for best results. These applications may help in the natural healing process of the sore and can shrink its size noticeably.
Teabags: Black tea contains antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties that when applied through a teabag can treat the skin against cold sore symptoms. Teabags also contain tannic acid, an astringent containing antiviral properties that may stop the greater spread of the cold sore. For the teabag application, apply a damp black teabag to the cold sore affected area.
Let it sit for 10 minutes and then dispose of the used teabag. The application can be repeated three or four times a day for great results. Follow up a teabag application with a 15-minute cold compress to soothe your skin, tighten your facial pores and prevent future oil clogging.
Vanilla Extract: Pure vanilla extract is alcohol-based and has astringent (drying) properties which can stop the growth of sores. Vanilla contains natural anti-inflammatory properties and its extract which can be effective at stopping the growth of cold sores in their early stage. Vanilla extract can help soothe the irritation and redness from cold sores which will encourage the healing process and calm the skin.
Soreness and Duration
Cold Compress: Applying a cold cloth directly to cold sore spots can soothe soreness and reduce inflammation. Cold compresses promote skin healing and will relieve the soreness of any inflammation.
Chamomile: Cold sore flare-ups can be treated by chamomile tincture and by drinking chamomile tea (over the affected area). Both methods benefit from chamomille’s bisabolol component which can help heal sores naturally.
Stress Reduction: High stress levels can worsen cold sores since your immune system’s resistance to infection is weakened. Healthy and active stress relievers include yoga, meditation and cardio are effective at reducing overall stress rates which will strengthen the body’s immune system against cold sores. Regular exercise will lead to better sleep which is another proven method at reducing levels of stress.
Cold sores can be prevented through a number of techniques and safe practices.
Wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your lip and all areas of the face near the spot. Touching cold sores increases the risk of spreading the virus to others.
Cold sores can be caused by dietary triggers including sugary sweets like milk chocolate, soft drinks, and citric foods. Those with weakened immune systems are especially prone to cold sores, making it important to maintain a healthy diet and sleep routine, regular exercise, and hydration.
Consider taking vitamin supplements including zinc and vitamin C to boost your immune system, and take steps to restrict your sugar and citrus intake.
Over the counter cold sore ointments
Cold sores can be treated through the application of over the counter brand ointments like Abreva and Lysine, which can be found at your local pharmacy. If none of these treatments prove effective your doctor may prescribe an antiviral tablet or cream medication to target your cold sore more strongly.
All In One Beauty Lounge offers makeup and hair-styling services to help you look and feel your best at all times, including during a cold sore treatment! We ensure the best quality and top experience, helping you achieve the look of your dreams. Book your appointment today!