Cold sores are a type of facial lesion and are found to grow either on the lips or in the skin area adjacent to the mouth. It is scientifically known as “Herpes Simplex” that occurs specially when someone is suffering from fever.
This begins as a group of small red bumps that blisters. Sometimes itching and burning in the area follow this blister. When the blisters dry up they start forming a yellow crust that gradually falls off and the redness goes away.
Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Either type1 herpes virus or type2 herpes virus causes cold sores. Type herpes virus causes almost 60% of the cold sores on the lips and face. The rest 40% of the cold sores are caused by type2 herpes virus.
Cold sores particularly appear after fever, stress and excess exposure to open sunlight.
Transmission of Cold Sores
Cold sores are transmitted due to sexual contacts, kissing or any type of intimate contacts. However, cold sores may often enhance due to factors like fever, sun exposure and menstruation.
If the cold sores last longer than two weeks it is advisable that you should consult a physician.
Following are the signs and symptoms of cold sores:
- Small, painful and fluid filled blisters on raised painful area of your skin
- Pain or tingling called prodrome preceding blisters by one or two days
Preventive Measures of Cold Sores
The occurrence of cold sores indicates a deficiency in calcium. So not only calcium efficiency can deter cold sores but there are also various other prevention programs for cold sores.
As a preventive program it is a good idea to boost your immune system to prevent cold sores. You can start taking the herbs Echinacea and goldenseal to boost your immune system.
Following are the other preventive measures of cold sores:
- Vitamin E provides pain relief
- Vitamin C containing citrus bioflavonoids greatly reduce cold sores
- Zinc tablets reduce the duration of cold sores
- Eating plain yogurt [with acidophilus] is a good preventive measure
Try not to use traditional treatments like antibiotics as they may cause headaches, vomiting, nausea and prolonged cough.
Remedies of Cold Sores
When you feel the itching of cold sores just beginning, you should start taking antacids regularly. If you can’t catch the blistering in time, you should break the blisters and directly apply the antacids to the affected area.
However following are the other remedies to prevent cold sores:
- Use a drug called acyclovir to treat cold sores
- Go for natural treatments such as Choraphor and other skin solutions
- Apply Polysporin ointment to the area once or twice a day to prevent bacterial infection.
- You can also use a medicine called L-Lysine 500 mg, an amino acid that reduces the burning and tingling effectively.
However as home remedy for cold sores you can use tea bags, ice, petroleum jelly, nutritional remedies and herbal antiseptics like Sage and Tea tree oil.
Most cold sore outbreaks clear up within 1 to 2 weeks without treatment. Some ointments and antiviral medications may shorten the outbreak’s duration and alleviate discomfort and pain.
Your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication for you to take on a regular basis, if you develop cold sores frequently or if you’re at high risk of serious complications.
If sunlight seems to trigger your recurrences, apply sunblock to the spot where the cold sore tends to erupt.