What are Cold Sores? And 5 ways to get rid of cold sores quickly!
Posted: 1 year ago
Cold sores are painful, they affect our overall self-esteem, and unfortunately, they take time to fully heal. So if you have woken up to a red, blistered area on your lips, mouth, or immediate surrounding area, then chances are you will begin a frantic search for cold sore remedies.
To answer the question of:
“How do I get rid of a cold sore fast?!”
There are plenty of cold sore remedies and techniques available for the quickest cold sore treatment. But before getting into these remedies, let us first get into exactly what a cold sore is to both help yourself in feeling a lot more confident with dealing with one, and also to best direct the ways that you choose to get rid of a cold sore.
What is a Cold Sore?
Cold sores, also called ‘fever blisters’, are technically a symptom of a virus; and that virus is named the “herpes simplex virus (HSV-1)”. So yes, cold sores are a result of oral herpes. Most cold sores only appear in a small number of infected individuals, however, and when they do it is simply the virus showcasing activation.
The activation of the herpes simplex virus leading to cold sores usually occurs because of a few lifestyle and illness-induced reasons. Some of these include:
- High levels of stress, as stress reduces the function of the immune system and further allows viruses such as HSV-1 to activate
- Lack of sleep and nutrition, as not getting the proper rest, vitamins and nutrients will also lower the immune system.
- Another illness or virus that results in lowered immune function and activation, especially those that cause fevers
- Cold sores on the corner of the mouth and lips can be caused by dryness from the sun or the wind, resulting in open wounds that turn to cold sores.
- Hormonal fluctuations that make it hard for your body to adjust to fighting off HSV-1
When the virus activates, your first symptom of a cold sore might feel like a slight burning sensation somewhat similar to a pimple. As it progresses, it will then turn into a fluid-filled blister that will eventually break open. Once the blister has broken open, the cold sore has become a rather painful ulcer until with time it heals.
But before you feel embarrassed or worried about your cold sore, know that according to the World Health Organization, nearly 67% of the entire world’s population under 50 have HSV-1.
This means that this virus is extremely common and also easily transmitted, so there are now plenty of cold sore remedies available both from the medical field and others who have created their own, more holistic approaches at effective cold sore treatment.
The Best Cold Sore Remedies
1. Lower Your Overall Stress Levels and Boost Immunity
Now that you understand that a lot of cold sore activation arises from stress, this plays a large part not only in preventing cold sores before they happen, but also as a keystone element in making other cold sore remedies more effective, as lowering stress is the best beginning to any cold sore treatment.
When your mouth is presented with an open wound from a blister, especially the most painful cold sores on the corner of the mouth and on the lip, then the first step to treating cold sores arises from YOU. And by you, we mean your immune system, as your immune system is the key component in healing any open wound.
Cold sores can last up to two weeks before they go away, and those with the healthiest of immune systems can get rid of cold sores in as little as just 7-10 days! When treating a cold sore, time is usually of importance, and reducing healing time by an entire week is incredible.
There are endless methods of which you can implement to lower your stress levels and enhance your immune system. You can begin first with lifestyle choices. Try and determine the root causes of your stress and take diligent effort to negate those triggers. Not only will this help treat and prevent cold sores, your immune system in general will thank you.
If you smoke tobacco or vape, these both lead to adverse health effects and lower immunity, as well as actively irritating cold sores. So if this applies to yourself then think of quitting smoking as a cold sore remedy and therefore inspiration to ditch the habit.
It is also essential to get plenty of sleep, as rest directly influences the ability of your immune system to protect and heal your body. When you do not get enough sleep, your immune system simply cannot function to its highest extent, and therefore this may extend the cold sore treatment timeline.
In general, just focus on the vitamins and nutrients that you are giving your body. If you eat a lot of processed food, try and trade those out for healthy alternatives. Research some great immune-boosting herbs that you can take daily, even just a multivitamin, and use them as part of your toolkit to immunity-boosting, for a healthy immune system is truly the best cold sore treatment available.
2. Visit your Dermatologist for Prescription Cold Sore Medication
Want to know how to get rid of cold sores fast? Visit a dermatologist!
Your dermatologist visit will provide you with the absolute best cold sore treatment options available. This is because dermatologists know how this virus acts more than anyone, and because it is a virus, there is no better way to treat cold sores than with antiviral medication.
To best treat cold sores you should aim to inhibit HSV-1. By implementing antiviral medication, you will get rid of cold sores by suppressing the virus itself and therefore limiting its ability to produce the symptom that is a cold sore.
A commonly used and extremely effective cold sore remedy to discuss with your dermatologist is known as “valacyclovir”. Again, this drug is an antiviral so it will target the actual virus, which will then lead to healing the sore quickly and effectively.
If you are unable to access a dermatologist, some other over the counter cold sore treatments include:
3. Herbal and Ice Compresses
An herbal compress is a very effective all-natural cold sore remedy that is also great for sensitive skin. The antiviral, bacterial, and overall soothing effects of herbs will help to fight off infection and promote the skin cells to heal efficiently. To make an herbal compress, simply create a warm tea out of these herbs targeted to get rid of your cold sore quickly, and press the cold sore on your lip or corner of your mouth with a cloth soaked in the tea. For great results, use:
- Lemon Balm
And when you are done, further trap in the needed moisture with an aloe vera gel. Cold sores on the lip will heal quickly if you use a lip balm constantly to prevent drying.
An ice compress will not necessarily help in speeding up healing time, but it will at least aim to reduce pain, redness, and swelling to make for a less burdensome cold sore.
4. Use Sunscreen!
Cold sores on the lip and cold sores on the corner of the mouth are some of the most common areas of which cold sores arise, although they do sometimes appear on the tongue or in the mouth. The sun can not only dry the lips and result in causing cold sores, but can also prevent them from healing quickly.
Think of sunscreen as a cold sore remedy that will speed up healing. By protecting your skin from the UV rays, you retain moisture and prevent cracking that makes cold sores a whole lot worse.
5. Do not touch your cold sore!
This might be the hardest to implement but most effective cold sore treatment. Nothing will heal the way it is supposed to when it is being nagged on! You will introduce your cold sore to further bacteria, as well as opening up the wound, which will require your cells to work even harder to fully heal the cold sore.
Cold sores are annoying, but it is so essential to understand that touching them will do absolutely no good. Tell yourself instead that by leaving them alone and pretending that they are not there, you are utilizing one of the best methods to treat cold sores quickly which will help you to keep your hands off!
For cold sores on the corner of the lip, it might be hard, but attempt to keep your mouth closed for as long as possible so that you avoid breaking the cold sore open consistently. Overall, do not prod and poke your cold sore, and it will heal so much faster!