Cold sores or fever blisters are not to be confused with canker sores. It is said that about 90% of people suffer from cold sores at least once in their life. After the first outbreak, some can develop antibodies against it and it stays dormant forever. About 40% of American adults suffer from repeated cold sores. Cold sore are caused by herpes simplex virus-1. It’s a small, at times painful blister that usually shows up around a person’s lips. If you’ve never seen it before, you may mistaken it for a zit or a bump. It’s fairly common and many suffer from it. Some people are lucky and the cold sore goes dormant. Others like myself have to constantly deal with it. Unfortunately, there is no cure for a cold sore. There are only remedies to relieve it. The most common place a cold sore appears is on the lips, but other times it can appear inside the mouth, on the face, inside or on the nose.
As a child, I never knew what it was or what it was called. My mother always convinced me that it was because I didn’t wash my mouth before I went to bed. I was blindly convinced of this up until my teenage years. As I became an adult, I knew it couldn’t have been what she had said it was. I started researching it and found out it was a cold sore. As I child, I suffered from this very often. As an adult, I still suffer from it yearly. I read that many things can cause it to come out. Once I started educating myself on how to prevent it, I was able to cut down the healing time and how often it appeared. I probably get cold sores 2-3 times a year now. Here are my own personal preventative measures and ways to speed up the healing process. Once you feel the tingling sensation, you have to immediately act on it.
I’ve found that Abreva really does work for me. I immediately apply it on the moment I feel a tingle.
2. Vitamin C
I load up on the Vitamin C once I feel a cold sore coming on. I either drink orange juice or take an Emergen-C.
3. SPF Chapstick
I’ve read that too much UV can cause a cold sore to appear. So wear chapstick with SPF to protect your lips.
Not sleeping enough can cause your body to stress, which can also cause your body to react and a cold sore may appear.
If I start feeling a tingle on my lip, I will immediately take a Tylenol with orange juice as a preventative measure.
6. Prescription ointment
I haven’t tried this yet, but I have read that there is a prescription to help with cold sores. There are many prescription ointments and antiviral medicines. Ask your doctor about trying Denavir, Acyclovir, or Famciclovir for cold sores.
7. No sharing
To avoid spreading the virus to others, don’t share anything. Utensils, straws, cups, etc. I shouldn’t have to remind you, but no kissing or lip touching. Be especially careful around children.
8. Wash mouth and hands
I regularly wash my mouth and hands after eating or touching my cold sore. Be extra cautious as to not spread the sore onto a wash cloth. Use a cotton pad instead to wipe your mouth clean.
9. Cotton swabs
I use a new cotton swab every time I apply ointment or chapstick on my lips to prevent my sore from spreading onto the original product.
10. Avoid triggers
The most preventative measure would be to learn how to avoid the triggers that cause cold sores. If you know what triggers your cold sore, you can prevent it from occurring.
There are many other things to try out there. Aside from the prescribed medicine, I have used every other method on myself. I’ve been doing more research and read that taking L-Lysine vitamins may help with cold sores. They also have a Lysine ointment available. I’ll definitely try the the Lysine to see if it works for me. Orajel has their own cold sore treatment as well. It’s half the cost of the Abreva brand, but it’s not FDA-approved. I’ll probably test that one out too as I’ve used all my Abreva ointment. If you feel a little pain, you can also ice the area.
For some people, a cold sore can clear up in 2-5 days. For myself, it can take up to a week before I’m fully healed of it. I can only assume that an adult with the virus kissed me as a child and therefore I caught it. I remember having cold sores as young as 6 years old. Since I suffer from this, I’m extremely careful around my nephew when I have an outbreak. I make sure he doesn’t attempt to touch my lips in any way. Not only are cold sores annoying, but they’re unpleasant to look at. Cold sores go through stages. It starts off with a tiny tingle, then small red bumps begin to blister, the blisters are then filled with fluid. Once it’s gone through that stage, the blisters may burst and this is when it’s most inflamed. It’ll now go through the scab phase and finally it will enter the healing phase. After the scab phase, the cold sore will then go dormant. I hope this has helped any of you other there that have to deal with cold sores. If you suffer from cold sores, what are your remedies? Share with us in the comment section below!