- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
How Long Do Cold Sores Usually Last?
How Long Do Cold Sores Usually Last?
The above picture speaks volumes to whomever is going through this embarrassing affliction. I know that you want to know exactly how long do cold sores usually last but, is that all? Don't you want to know more information about the cold sore? Where did this thing come from? Why is it on your lip? And finally, what can you do about it?
Well if you're curious like most people then stick around. I'm going to give you some of the best information that i know of that concerns you and your little visitor. Thanks!
The Cold Sore/Fever Blister...
First of all, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but, you have herpes. That's right, herpes! The one disease that everyone from your best friend to your high school gym teacher to your mother warned you about. Yes, you have herpes. And yes, you will have it for the rest of your life. But there is good news in all of this. You have the type of herpes that can be controlled...to an extent.
You see my friend, cold sores or fever blisters, whatever you want to call them are the direct result of the herpes simplex virus(HSV). There are 2 types of HSV. HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-2 is the one that you were warned about. The one that everyone and their mother is so scared of. This version of herpes is highly contagious and is spread through sexual contact. But HSV-1 is just as contagious.
HSV-1 is the most common form of herpes. More than a third of the world's population has this disease. So don't feel bad, you are in good company! HSV-1 is spread by coming into contact with someone who has it. Most likely kissing on or near the affected area. But there are other ways for it to be spread.
HSV-1 is highly contagious and you don't have to kiss to become infected. You can shake the hand of someone who has the fluid from their lips on their hand and contract it. Let's say that they just finished picking the scab on their lip and they haven't washed their hands. You come along and give your pal a nice, firm handshake and you have an open sore on your hand. Boom! You got it! Just like that. Now you know why washing your hands is so important!
What Can You Do About It? The Over-The-Counter Option...
Now that you have the cold sore, what can you do about it? Well you have a couple of options. On it's own without your help it will heal in about 2 to 3 weeks. That answers your first question and the title to this hub. But who wants to wait that long for it to heal, right? Especially with the stigma of herpes attached to it!
You can try some over the counter drugs that are very effective at stopping the virus dead in its tracks. You have Zovirax and Abreva, most notably. They both do an excellent job but the makers of Zovirax claim that it cam actually stop a cold sore from forming. You might want to take a look into that! How does it do it?
In the beginning stages of getting a cold sore you will notice an itching or tingling sensation on your lip. This is when the makers of Zovirax claim that by applying their product to your lip, it can stop the cold sore from appearing. this is actually the best time to apply any ober the counter medication to your lip. Because this is when the virus is most vulnerable.
Over The Counter Cold Sore Treatments...
The Natural Way To Get Rid Of Cold Sores...
There are some more natural ways to get rid of cold sores also. These don't involve the use of any chemicals. They are all natural and pretty effective. Why would you want to use an all natural alternative as opposed to an over-the-counter treatment?
Why not? An over the counter treatment will work for you but like all drugs there are side effects. Side effects like nausea, vomiting, headaches and diarrhea. With all natural treatments you have none of the above side effects. What are some of these natural remedies? Well one of them you have probably used already?
Hydrogen Peroxide or H2O2. Do you remember this stuff? Come on, you know this stuff? Remember the stuff your Mom put on your knee after you scraped it when you fell of your bike? That stuff that miraculously foamed up on contact with your knee! Yeah, that stuff! Hydrogen peroxide is a great home remedy to use on a cold sore. How do you use it?
Just like with Zovirax it's best to use it in the beginning stages of a cold sore/fever blister. But if you can't use it in the beginning, you can use it at anytime. You take a cue tip and dip it in the brown bottle,( I know you remember that brown bottle! Lol!) and swab a little of that on your fever blister. You should notice results sometimes in as little as 1 day! Not only does it dry out the blister, it also speeds up healing.