You can’t really get rid of cold sores completely and stop them from coming back, but you can heal them really quickly when they do start to break loose on your face!
We all know that cold sores are caused by the herpes virus, so let’s not dwell on that for too long, but what exactly are cold sores?
Cold sores are small lesions filled with fluid. They usually appear on and around the lips, with several blisters often appearing together. Once they break, a crusty layer appears on top of the sore.
Cold sores can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, so let’s look at some ways we can fight them immediately.
Cover your cold sore
More than anything else, this will mostly work to stop you from touching and picking at the crusty area.
It’s natural to want to do away with the cold sore asap, but covering it up when you are at home or somewhere private is a good idea. A little plaster will do. You can even apply a natural remedy then dress the cold sore straight away. This will keep the remedy on your skin for longer.
Be careful about sharing lip balm, obviously. You don’t want to give anyone else a cold sore! However, adding a little propolis to your lip balm can help prevent and treat your cold sore. Propolis is an antiviral.
It’s easier to use a lip balm that comes in a little pot than a stick, but either can work. Gently melt the balm by heating it for a few seconds in a microwave or double boiler. When it’s liquid, mix in a couple of drops of propolis, then leave it to set. Magic.
Foods that fight cold sores
Vanilla extract is a remedy that some people swear by. You’ll need a very good quality one (not vanilla essence!) for best results. Apply it as soon as that familiar tingling sensation starts.
The alcohol in the vanilla extract works wonders on the virus. Just soak a cotton bud in the vanilla and place it on the cold sore for around 60 seconds. Use this remedy four times a day until the sore is a gonner.
Use a black tea bag on your cold sore to treat the thing good and proper. Just soak a tea bag in hot water, then let it cool. Take the cold bag and lightly press it onto your cold sore and hold it there for 10 minutes. This can be done every hour if necessary.
When you take garlic orally, it helps boost your immune system and help your body fight the herpes virus. If you don’t want to cook with it, chop up one clove per day and swallow it with a spoonful of honey. 1-2 cloves daily can help tremendously.
Putting a whole milk compress onto your cold sore can ease the discomfort you feel and speed up the healing process.
Milk contains immunoglobins and l-lysine, which help fight viruses like herpes.
To make a compress, just soak a cotton ball or pad in about a tablespoon of milk, the apply it to the area. Hold it on for a few minutes, then wipe clean with another pad soaked in clean water.
Aloe vera gel can provide quick relief once your cold sore has blistered. It’s antibacterial, anti-fungal and sooths the skin.
Just break off the end of a flesh leaf and put the gel inside onto the sore. Leave it on.
Limes and lemons can both work to prevent cold sore outbreaks. Just cut a piece of lime and place it on the tingling spot for 10-15 minutes. This will stop the tingling and prevent an outbreak from occurring.
Prevention and care
The key to prevention is acting quickly! This will make sure your cold sore disappears faster. It won’t be as bad, either. In fact, it’s less likely that a cold sore will appear at all.
Taking in enough vitamin C and vitamin E is also key in cold sore prevention. Eat lots of berries, tomatoes, red peppers and spinach so you get enough vitamin C.
For vitamin E, eat nuts, avocados, whole grains and leafy greens for a cold sore-free life.