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10 Tips to Get Rid of Cold Sores Fast

Updated on August 26, 2013

Cold Sores

Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are lesions on the lips and around the mouth. It makes the skin around the blisters red and swollen. They usually occur in clusters. Cold sores are painful to deal with. They may also interfere with your daily activities and cause you a lot of embarrassment. Cold sores usually heal on their own after several days, but there are things you can do to speed up the healing process. There are even home remedies that will help ease the discomfort. Read on and learn how to get rid of cold sores.

What Causes Cold Sores?

Severe cold sore on the lips.
Severe cold sore on the lips.

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. When you acquire this virus, it will stay inside your body and waits for a trigger. Common triggers include stress, fever, trauma, menstruation and fatigue. Cold sores are often confused with canker sores. Canker sores are the white wounds that occur inside the mouth and are caused by a bacterial infection. Cold sores, on the other hand, are often found on the lips and on the area around the mouth.

How to Get Rid of Cold Sores Fast

Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to treat cold sores and prevent them from coming back. Here are home remedies you can try to heal cold sores.

1. Use petroleum jelly.

When you discover that you are suffering from a cold sore, immediately apply petroleum jelly on the infected area. This speeds up healing, keeps moisture and avoids further infection. Do not try to cover your cold sore with makeup as the ingredients found in your cosmetics can irritate the sores and make the condition worse.

2. Use pain killers and anesthetics.

Cold sores can be extremely painful. To help in reducing pain and discomfort, try using pain killers. There are a lot of over-the-counter pain killers you can try. Many doctors recommend aspirin. You can also opt for a local anesthetic with benzocaine which helps numb the pain.

3. Apply ice packs.

Apply ice packs directly on the sore to temporarily relieve pain. Drinking cold drinks can also be an effective way to reduce discomfort.

4. Milk.

No, you don’t have to drink gallons of milk to get rid of cold sores fast. What you need to do is grab a cotton ball and soak it in milk. Apply it to the cold sore to reduce pain. Also, if you feel that a cold sore is about to surface, go drink that cold milk. This can help speed up the healing process or even prevent cold sores altogether.

5. Use sunscreen.

The harmful rays of the sun can trigger cold sores. Avoid spending too much time under the sun. If it is necessary for you to get exposed to the sun because of work or certain activities, do not forget to use a sunscreen. Use a lip balm with at least SPF 15. You can also use a lipstick with sunscreen.

6. Avoid salty and acidic foods.

Cold sores are painful enough but if you want to add to the pain, go ahead and eat salty and acidic foods all you want. Otherwise, avoid these foods as they can add a lot of pain and give you more discomfort.

7. Prevent spreading the virus.

Cold sores are highly contagious. Get a hold of yourself and try not to kiss your partner until your cold sores are completely gone. Also avoid sharing cups, towels, utensils and other things to avoid spreading the virus.

8. Change toothbrush.

Are you lazy to change your toothbrush regularly? Then it is time to change this bad habit. Old toothbrushes can harbor virus. Also make sure that you do not share your toothbrush with anyone.

9. Avoid stress.

Stress aggravates a lot of health problems. It can also trigger cold sores. Engage in stress-relieving activities. You can try yoga, meditation or a weight training program. Learning how to fight anxiety and stress is also important in improving your overall health.

10. See a doctor.

If these treatments do not work for you, it is highly recommended to consult your doctor. You may not know it but your cold sore may be a symptom of a serious illness. A medical professional can assess your condition appropriately and give you tips on how to get rid of cold sores.

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