What are Cold Sores?
Cold Sores are also known as Fever Blisters. They are quite common and take quite a few days up to a couple of weeks to heal themselves. A virus called herpes simplex virus (type 1) is responsible for causing Cold Sores.
When the latent and dormant herpes simplex virus particles become activated again, they cause this particular skin trouble. When the immune system fails to suppress this virus, it results in their outbreak and subsequent occurrence of Cold Sores. These sores are painful and ugly and generally occur around the area of the mouth.
The most commonly affected areas include the lips, nostrils, chin and cheeks. When they occur on the fingers, they are referred to as Herpes Whitlow. Cold Sores are contagious in nature. More often than not, they can not be prevented completely but the natural home remedies for Cold Sores have been found successful in facilitating the healing process and reducing the frequency of their occurrence to a great extent.
Causes and Symptoms of Cold Sores
As mentioned above, it is due to the failure of the immune system to keep away the herpes simplex virus that causes the outbreak of the virus thereby causing Cold Sores. Some such conditions that adversely affect the immune system include colds, flu, stress, skin irritation, fatigue, sunburn, temperature extremes, fever, local skin injury, steroidal medicines, alcoholism and other such factors.
Being a contagious medical condition, sharing eating utensils, towels and razors may spread this infection. Pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing Cold Sores.
A couple of days prior to the appearance of a Cold Sore, the infected area becomes red, slightly raised and feels itchy or stingy. It paves way for painful, fluid filled blisters after that. These blister often burst and the liquid comes out and finally a yellowish crust is formed on the sore indicating the ongoing healing process. It is observed that in most of the cases, Cold Sores tend to recur on the same paces. When the sores appear inside the mouth, they are called Canker Sores.
Natural Home Remedies for Cold Sores
• Lemon balm extract and witch hazel with their therapeutic properties are excellent natural home remedies for Cold Sores.
• Applying alcohol or apple cider vinegar on the Cold Sores helps to cure them by drying the affected area.
• Applying nail polish remover on the affected area is a weird yet effective home remedy to cure this problem.
• Aloe Vera juice, Eucalyptus oil and tea tree oil serve as efficient natural home remedies for Cold Sores.
• Applying the juice of fresh green papaya is a highly effective natural remedy in this regard.
• Applying Echinacea on the Cold Sores is yet another simple natural home remedy for such sores. It boosts the immune system and prevents further recurrence as well.
• Putting a little bit of salt on the affected area and holding it as it is for a couple of minutes is a tried and tested remdy used in the treatment of Cold Sores.
• Using olive leaf extract can act as a natural cure in the home treatment of Cold sores and other viral infections.
• Rubbing ice cubes on the affected area is one of the easiest possible home remedies for Cold Sores’ treatment.
• Applying a warm tea bag on the affected area for about half an hour is beneficial in the treatment of Cold Sores.
• Take a cup of boiling water and add 2 or 3 sage leaves and a small piece of ginger or ginger powder to it and bring to boil. Drinking two to three cups of this tea on a daily basis is a common natural home remedy for proving relief from this problem.
• Applying juice extracted from crushed garlic cloves is one of the most valuable natural home remedies for Cold Sores.
Diet for Cold Sores
The diet for Cold Sores should consist of those vitamins and minerals that strengthen the immune system and help in faster recovery of the skin. Vitamin B and especially vitamin B complex is the most important vitamin in this regard. Lentils, potatoes, beans, bananas, eggs, shellfish, mushroom, brewer’s yeast, watermelon, milk and milk products are rich in B vitamins. The best way to boost the immune system is to include a variety of fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables in the regular diet. Yogurt has also been found beneficial in this regard.
Restrict the consumption of tea, coffee, chocolates and sugar as these items tend to worsen the situation. Peanuts, almonds, grains and seeds are rich in arginine which competes with the absorption of lysine which helps cure Cold Sores. So, taking lesser arginine rich foods will not interfere with the adequate absorption of lysine thereby assisting in the healing process.
People with Autoimmune Diseases, Tuberculosis, Diabetes and connective tissue disorders should consult their doctors before adopting any of the natural home remdies involving different herbs.