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Ways to Prevent and Treat of Cold Sores

Updated on May 15, 2012

Cold Sore Breakout (HSV1 pictures)

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When there is a sudden change of weather, there is a tendency that you'll experience the cold sore virus. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 also known as HSV1. When you experience a slight numbness on your lips, mouth, tongue or nose then you may start to have it. You can see a cluster of small fluid filled blisters that are also painful especially if you keep on moving the affected area.

A single time entry of HSV1 into your body will have a lifetime residency since some of the HSV1 will end up within the nerve roots of your face close to the affected skin area. Once they can enter into your body this way then it's impossible to destroy or eliminate them.

They will just show up from time to time because they lie dormant in your body forever. A herpes simplex virus type 1 infection has a span of five up to ten days and the common areas that get affected for these outbreaks are the lips and face. Very cold or very hot weather conditions can also trigger your cold sores. Your lips will become extremely dry and this is one of the first signs of the herpes virus.

Before you can prevent cold sores, you need to know what causes them to show up so that you can effectively prevent them in the future outbreaks. You can prevent it by identifying some of the causes that trigger them to come back again and again such as poor diet, high stress levels, lack of sleep, fatigue, hormonal changes in the body, food allergy, weak immune system due to illness, or very dry and cracked lips caused by sun damage. These are some of the common causes but there could be a time that cold sores may just suddenly appear without any traceable cause that can trigger it to reappear once more.

The Importance of Your Diet

If you want to avoid cold sores, make an effort to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and add more fresh fruits that contain more liquid like pears, apples, etc. Diet and nutrition with herpes simplex virus type 1 is very important. You can help minimize the chances of this herpes virus to recur again and again if you eat the right foods and be aware of any dietary restrictions that you need to undergo.

First, you need to learn about the two amino acids that are found naturally in foods known as Lysine and Arginine. These two amino acids can influence herpes outbreaks that is why a balanced diet consisting of foods high in Lysine and low in Arginine is advisable for people who have problems with HSV1 breakouts.

Lysine is active against fighting the herpes virus due to its power to inhibit the metabolism of Arginine, the other amino acid that causes the HSV1 symptoms. Lysine naturally aids in preventing the production of Arginine in your body. Arginine is known to be the food source for herpes simplex virus type 1 that causes its symptoms.

So in order to reduce the HSV1 outbreaks, have a proper diet that is rich in Lysine especially from fresh fruits like apricots, apples, pears, figs, mangoes, papaya and avocado. You can also add in your diet dairy products including milk, ice-cream, cheese and yogurt. You can also choose fish, eggs, fresh tomatoes, brewer’s yeast, chicken, lamb and beef because these are foods that are high in Lysine.

There are also foods that is high in Arginine but low in Lysine that you need to reduce your consumption or totally avoid like brown rice, dried beans such as tofu and soybeans, wheat germ, whole wheat, oats, white flour, peanut butter, nuts, gelatin, chocolate, coconut, seeds, lentils, caffeine that is found in coffee beans and health supplements which include Arginine. If it's really difficult for you to avoid eating foods rich in Arginine then you may choose to add Lysine supplements to your daily diet.

The Cold Sore Outbreak

Cold sores will reappear generally on the lips several times a year that are quite painful and indeed unattractive. They are also known as fever blisters which are different from canker sores. Cold sores usually show on the lips, but can also develop on the cheeks and nose because the herpes simplex virus type 1 also known as HSV1 lies dormant forever in the nerves of your face. Many people who have this virus will try to follow all the prevention tips, but unluckily, they may still get these cold sores.

Most of the sufferers will try some few tips and recommendations in order to reduce the duration including the severity of a cold sore outbreak. At first, a tingling sensation in your lips could mean the start of an outbreak. You could also experience tiredness and fever especially if there is a sudden change of the climate. You need to take medication to immediately reduce your fever and take plenty of rest so that you can strengthen your body and prepare it for the cold sore outbreak.

Cold sores generally shows when your body is weakened. Reducing your stress by relaxing, eating nutritious foods rich in Lysine, thinking positive and taking a nap from time to time will help shorten the duration as well as the severity of your cold sores. Drinking more water too everyday will make the cold sores disappear because it will help your body in regulating its internal temperature and as a result, it will aid in flushing out those toxins.

Seek immediate medical attention and treatment once you have an outbreak from cold sores especially if it will cause a blurry eye vision. Look for a good eye doctor if you can feel any pain in your eyes. Cold sores may endanger your vision if the herpes simplex virus type 1 can affect the cornea especially if you have a weak immune system because of AIDS, cancer treatment or other major illness.

Cold Sore Medications

You can buy over-the-counter medications to help expedite or increase the speed of the healing process with regards to your cold sores. Some cold sore sufferers find some of the over-the-counter medications to be very effective. There are many non-prescription cold sore medicines too that is FDA approved to shorten the healing time including the duration of your cold sore symptoms and is also recommended by pharmacists. You can easily apply your chosen medication once you can feel a cold sore is coming on, like experiencing that tingle or burning sensation accompanied by tiredness and the feeling of having a fever.

Some medications not only soothe to relieve your pain but they go deep into the skin to help heal your cold sores from inside and out the soonest possible time. If you plan in purchasing these over-the-counter medications, check for their consumer ratings of where you're going to buy them because people who had used the product will rate it and if it gets a very high rating then it only means that it is really effective in expediting or increasing the speed with regards to the healing process of their cold sores.

There are medications that could relieve symptoms even in just a day and may soothe as well as relieve the pain even in minutes. Make sure that you read the feature of the product before buying it,. Make sure that it's safe, non-toxic or has no known side effects that can add more problems or complicate with your symptoms.

Some people find comfort and fast healing with the use a petroleum jelly product made only from pure plant oils and natural waxes to keep the cold sore from drying and cracking while others add Lysine supplements to take in order to help increase the healing process. Lysine is an amino acid that may aid in reducing the growth of the HSV1 virus. You can use an effective zinc oxide ointment or sun block too on your lips prior exposing yourself to the sun. It's advisable to use a hat or umbrella during the summer and even wintertime to help prevent the cold sore virus.

You can also try lemon balm to relieve the pain that comes with the cold sore outbreak. Lemon balm is part of mint classification of plants. It is known to be effective against genital and oral herpes due to its leaf which contains Polyphenols that can fight against the virus. You can apply the cream by following the directions of the product in order to reduce the cold sore habituation. You can also directly rub a bunch of crushed lemon balm leaves to the affected area on your lips but make sure that you have no allergies before applying this natural and pain relieving treatment.

You can also supplement your diet with L-lysine everyday because it can help reduce the reoccurrence and severity of HSV1. Some people may take a 500 up to 1000 mg as a regular and preventive maintenance dose for their cold sore outbreak or when they feel that the herpes virus is coming. It's advisable that you consult your doctor regarding with the recommended dosage for repeated outbreaks.

Some cold sore sufferers will apply a cold tea bag on the affected area especially if the tea contains bergamot oil as well as tannins that will aid the healing of HSV1. Others will eat persimmon fruit because they believe that it helps clear up cold sores faster. You can also relieve the pain by placing an ice pack for a few minutes every fifteen minutes a day. Some have used a mentholated medicated lip protectant with a good amount of SPF as a pain reliever as well.

One safe remedy is to use the purity of Lansinoh that is not available in any other lanolin products. This product is used for breastfeeding since it's truly safe for baby but what is amazing is that it can also relieve the pain of a lip sore because it can even relieve the pain for breastfeeding mothers. It can really heal, soothe & protect dry, cracked skin on your lips immediately. You can experience the amazing, instant and soothing relief with Lansinoh, known as the world's purest lanolin. It's hypoallergenic and completely natural. If you have this product at home, this is one of the best medication that could end your pain and maintain the softness of your lips once you'll have a cold sore. If you're constantly attacked by a cold sore especially on your lips, you will never regret if you'll try to use this product.

Tips & Warnings:

  • Clean and sanitize the things around you and make sure that you're extra careful especially if you are taking care of a baby or young child. It's advisable to separate your own utensils or get a plastic fork and spoon including an inexpensive toothbrush that you can just easily throw away once the cold sore is healed. You can also use paper plates or cups that you can just discard away once the cold sores are gone.
  • Always keep your lips moisturized to avoid cracking due to dryness. Cold sores are really contagious so make sure that you separate your eating utensils and clean your hands with water and soap to prevent the spread of the virus.
  • Once you can acquire the HSV1, you're cold sores may keep on coming back since there is no medical cure yet to permanently eliminate it. The best thing that you can do is to cure the cold sore symptoms and reduce the duration and severity of it.
  • Be very careful of anything that you touch that can spread the HSV1 in a particular area of your body during an outbreak especially where there are openings like the eyes, nose and genitals.
  • Contact your physician the soonest possible time if your symptoms get worse because they can prescribe the right medication to help cure your cold sores.
  • Select a brand of medicine that offers money-back guarantee. This is advisable because if you're not completely satisfied for any reason with their product and you were able to save your receipt including the remaining product, then you can receive a full refund by just calling their consumer service or toll free number.


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Nice article, thanks for sharing. I have more information on this subject at my site Http:// Check it out, you might find it helpful also.

    • katiem2 profile image

      Katie McMurray 

      9 years ago from Westerville

      This is very helpful as many people suffer from cold sores and knowing how to prevent and treat cold sores is such a relief to know. :)

    • oceansnsunsets profile image


      9 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thanks for sharing, OnlineHub

    • profile image

      Ariane Haiku 

      9 years ago

      This is a very informative article and helps in the remedy for cold sore.

    • Loren's Gem profile image

      Loren's Gem 

      9 years ago from Istanbul, Turkey

      Great hub with great information! Thanks for sharing this very well-written cold-sore prevention and treatment. Voted it up and bookmarked this one! :-)


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