- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Cold Sores - Causes and Cures
What are cold sores
A slight tingle are felt, then appears these small, often red and swollen blisters filled with fluid, either on or inside of the nose or mouth or in other cases on other parts of the skin on the body. It is very painful and very contagious when you get in contact with the fluid either by sharing eating utensils, cups etc. They can be small and restricted to one specific place or become big and even spread across the area.
What are the symtoms and common causes of cold sores
There are no real symptoms of cold sores except the tingle you might feel before it appears or in some instances pain around your mouth or affected area, sore throat or swollen glands. Some children might even drool before a cold sore appear. Should you have the flue or a cold, you can expect a cold sore in some cases. Cold sores on the other hand could be symptoms of other underlying conditions. The Herpes Simplex virus are the primary culprit and sharing eating utensils or razor blades, coming in contact with the saliva of infected persons or kissing someone with cold sores could cause you to get one and are known to also be signs of drug use or drug abuse. To have or be around these risk factors does not mean you will get the condition, it just means that the chances of getting it are so much higher, but if your system is weak or run down you are most likely prone to getting a cold sore. Some medications but not limited to Herceptin, Copaxone and Rebetron, may also cause cold sores as side effects, therefore always disclose any medications or herbal treatments that you might be using when visiting your doctor.
Hidden causes of cold sores
Should the probability of common causes not be present, medical professionals could also look into hidden causes, which could be the much more serious SCID disease (Severe combined immunodeficiency disease), which is a very rare and uncommon disorder simplified as impaired immunity, which causes low or absent antibody cells in the body. In a nutshell, that means you are prone to all kinds of infections much more then the overall healthy individuals. Especially children with this disease are very susceptible to infections and if untreated could be fatal before the child turns two. Stress and depression also plays a big role.
Common treatment of cold sores
Common treatment of cold sores could be the use of medicines or ointments containing Lysine, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Beta-carotine, Vitamins A, B Complex, C & E and the ever popular calcium. Changing your diet slightly e.g. trying to avoid consuming pork, nuts and products made from nuts, milk and most other dairies, except joghurt with life cultures and including certain products containing protein, joghurts with life cultures, garlic, olive leaf extract and reishi mushrooms could contribute to quicker recovery. Constant hydration like drinking ample water will have crucial benefits, not only to wash out the virus but to contribute to the overall health of other organs.
Secondary treatment of cold sores
As dietary changes could have many benefits to assist in the fighting of cold sores, other steps could relief the immediate discomfort. As you feel the tingle, just before you actually see the blister you could apply a cold or milk compress. Applying lemon balm, Vaseline or lip ice would keep your lips hydrated in order not to crack and start bleeding. Applying regular sunscreen can prevent the cold sore from flaring up. Should you be taking an antibiotic treatment you could add probiotics to strengthen your immune system and assist in the faster healing of the cold sores. Overall, probiotics help with good intestinal flora and overall well being.
Prevention is always better than cure
Some actions you can take to help prevent contracting and spreading of the virus :
- Try not to share eating utensils, cups, face cloths, toothbrushes and other such items.
- Avoid kissing when you or the other person have a cold sore.
- Try to avoid stressful situations that might act as triggers.
- Should you have a cold sore, be sure to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your sore.
- Apply lip balm and sunscreen regularly to avoid too much exposure to the sun as your cold sore may flare up.
- If you are prone to getting cold sores often, it might be a good idea to consult with your doctor about taking medicine to help prevent future outbreaks.