The virus that causes cold sores is a lifelong problem, but there are measures you can take to prevent outbreaks. After your cold sore goes away, it’s important to replace your toothbrush. The virus that caused your cold sore can live on your toothbrush for days, and if you brush your teeth with this contaminated toothbrush, your lip could become re-infected. To avoid a hasty repeat of your outbreak, discard your old one.
Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, and immediately after you recover from a cold sore, cold, cough or sore throat. For extra precaution, dip your toothbrush in one fluid oz. of hydrogen peroxide or alcohol-based mouth rinse for three to five minutes to kill any remaining bacteria on the bristles.
The term “labia” means “lip”. Herpes labialis does not refer to the labia of the genitals, though the origin of the word is the same. When the viral infection affects both face and mouth, the broader term “orofacial herpes” is used, whereas the term “herpetic stomatitis” is used to specifically describe infection of the mouth; “stomatitis” is derived from the Greek word stoma that means “mouth”.
^ Mertz, GJ; Benedetti J; Ashley R; Selke SA; Corey L. (1 February 1992). “Risk factors for the sexual transmission of genital herpes”. Annals of Internal Medicine. 116 (3): 197–202. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-116-3-197. PMID 1309413.
you aren’t really supposed to use peroxide that often. just in the beginning when a sore first opens to clean it out. but after the first time that’s it. my mom always yells at me for overusing it, I just like the cool white it leaves on a wound to show it’s working. but once or twice, definitely enough
Many HSV-infected people experience recurrence within the first year of infection. Prodrome precedes development of lesions. Prodromal symptoms include tingling (paresthesia), itching, and pain where lumbosacral nerves innervate the skin. Prodrome may occur as long as several days or as short as a few hours before lesions develop. Beginning antiviral treatment when prodrome is experienced can reduce the appearance and duration of lesions in some individuals. During recurrence, fewer lesions are likely to develop and are less painful and heal faster (within 5–10 days without antiviral treatment) than those occurring during the primary infection. Subsequent outbreaks tend to be periodic or episodic, occurring on average four or five times a year when not using antiviral therapy.
Apply a rhubarb and sage ointment. Research suggests that applying a topical cream made of 23mg/g each of rhubarb extract and sage extract is as effective as prescription medications in healing cold sores. Look for this at natural health stores. Simply squeeze a pea-sized amount of the ointment onto a cotton swab or cotton ball and apply to the cold sore.
The sore will turn into a small scab the very same day, just put some Neosporin on it and sometimes as soon as the next day you can’t even tell it was ever there. I always see comments about not puncturing the cold sore, but the fluid within the sore is the virus duplicating and causing your sore to get bigger and thus take more time to heal. The alcohol kills the virus and with the salt mixture dries up the sore. I was skeptical the first time I did this, but it works and I would recommend at least trying it the next time you get a cold sore. My cold sores used to be MASSIVE and last for weeks, but now they only last a couple days and do not even look like cold sores after I’ve “worked” on them. I used to be so self-conscious when I got a cold sore, now they hardly affect my mood and are more of a slight annoyance for a couple days. Good luck to you all and I hope someone will benefit from this as I have.
For most kids, the sores go away on their own without any special treatment from a doctor. If you get a cold sore, try holding some ice wrapped in cloth on the sore. It also might help to eat a popsicle.
I tried abreva and it did not work at all. Nothing worked previously for me, though I have not tried every remedy listed here. I knew how good antibiotic ointment is for healing skin, and the last time I had a cold sore I used antibiotic ointment at the end of my two-week ordeal to heal my skin and it healed within a day. I decided to try antibiotic ointment the next time I had a cold sore (the virus had laid dormant in my system for 2 decades before flaring up again!). I just had a break out 3 days ago and immediately used antibiotic ointment. It never grew any worse and has only minimized with each day. I never had any pain or burning or dryness and it is barely visible. This has been the most pleasant experience with a cold sore I’ve ever had and is a near cure. Not every body is alike and this may not work for everyone, just like how abreva works for some people. The only way to find out if it works is to try it.
Start Acyclovir (Xerese, Zovirax) before cold sores fully flare and take it five times a day for 5 days. Alternatively, you can take Valacyclovir (Valtrex) at the first sign of a cold sore and then 12 hours later. #*Famciclovir (Famvir) can be given as a single dose of medicine. So can Acyclovir buccal (Sitavig), but you place it on your gums rather than swallowing and it lets out the medicine as it dissolves.
People will tell you not to do this, but I get cold sores 2-4 times a year and they never get to the ugly blister stage with this method and go straight to the scab/healing stage in 2-3 days you can’t even see it anymore… you decide if it’s worth it just follow my instructions:
Aloe vera gel contains enzymes, antioxidants, minerals and fatty acids that help treat skin conditions like cold sores and prevent further infections (4). Take a clean container and pour a small amount of aloe vera gel into it. With a fresh cotton swab, apply the gel directly on the sores. Use the gel throughout the day to speed up the healing process and ease discomfort.
Keep the affected area as clean as possible. Don’t wash the scab along with the rest of your face. It should be washed separately, preferably with an antibacterial soap. Be very gentle with the sore, so it doesn’t get picked off in the process. If you use any cloths or towels to wash/dry the area, don’t use them again until they have been washed.
Cold sores spread from person to person by close contact, such as kissing. They’re caused by a herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) closely related to the one that causes genital herpes (HSV-2). Both of these viruses can affect your mouth or genitals and can be spread by oral sex. Cold sores are contagious even if you don’t see the sores.
To reduce the risk of infection, one should avoid sharing bodily fluids and bringing items used by others to the infected area, WebMD cautions. Avoiding a kiss with an infected individual and avoiding his utensils, cups, razors or other items that he may have brought into contact with his mouth helps to prevent cold sores.
Essential oils and topical treatments can irritate your skin. So when it comes to natural remedies, you should always perform a patch test before use. Also, you’ll need to dilute essential oils with a carrier oil (vegetable or nut oil). The ratio is about one drop of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil.
Symptoms may be eased by applying ice or washcloths soaked in cold water over the sores. Alternative treatments for cold sores include using lip balm containing lemon extract. Taking lysine supplements on a regular basis is associated with less frequent outbreaks for some people.
Herpes infections usually show no symptoms; when symptoms do appear they typically resolve within two weeks. The main symptom of oral infection is inflammation of the mucosa of the cheek and gums—known as acute herpetic gingivostomatitis—which occurs within 5–10 days of infection. Other symptoms may also develop, including headache, nausea, dizziness and painful ulcers—sometimes confused with canker sores—fever, and sore throat.
Cold sores are only caught by direct skin contact, with the affected area. They are not caught through sharing cups, cutlery, towels, lipstick, etc. (unless there is warm pus on the item). Experts are definite about this, though this fact is sometimes ignored by unreliable sources on the Internet and elsewhere.
I have literally tried everything for cold sores. I have been getting them forever! Finally I was so desperate I tried orange oil and I could not believe how well it worked, my cold sore literally shrunk within hours, then at the end when you have the gross skin still on you lip when it’s trying to heal I put it on again and I didn’t scar and it went away so fast! I hope this helps someone!
It is important to eat healthy and stay active through exercise, and make your immune system strong to avoid any recurrence of the problem, or at least reduce it. Add more fruits and fresh vegetables to your diet to have more antioxidants and help your body effectively fight and ward away all kinds of problems and diseases. Increase the intake of water every day and remember that you have to be proactive when it comes to taking care of your health.
Sunscreen not only protects your lips while the cold sore is healing, but it can also reduce future outbreaks when worn daily on the lips. Look for at least SPF 30, and apply it whenever you expect to be in the sun. Get ready for the sun with these sunscreens from Amazon.
Test out a small area of your skin with a dab of toothpaste to see how it reacts before using it. Additionally, don’t use gel-style pastes. There are several tubes of toothpaste on the market that don’t contain SLS. If you have sensitive skin, they can be sound options.