Skin Diseases

Published on June 12th, 2013 | by Tom


What Causes Cold Sores, Symptoms & Home Remedies

Cold sores are groups of blisters around your lips or mouth and they are often called fever blisters. These blisters can break open leaking clear fluid, scabbing over after some days. The healing time for such cold sores tends to be several days to a few weeks. Most people find them unsightly so they really want them to clear up faster which has led to a number of home remedies for cold sores. Once you get them, you are susceptible to developing them repeatedly.

Causes of Cold Sores

The cause of cold sores is the herpes virus. There are two types, HSV-1 and HSV-2. Both of these can cause sores on the mouth or around the genitals, though cold sores on the mouth don’t cause the herpes virus to break out elsewhere. You are usually exposed to the virus through a break in your skin. You will touch an infected sore or the fluid and then touch a break in your skin and cause the infection. Sharing utensils or kissing an infected person is often when the spread happens.

Symptoms of Cold Sores

The obvious is the development of the cold sore itself. You will often feel pain around your mouth or lips. You can also have a sore throat or swollen glands as a precursor to the development of the cold sores. Sometimes the blisters can appear with no previous symptoms. Putting medication on an area that is inflamed can limit the number of blisters that break out. It can also help keep the fluid development at a minimum.

Home Remedies for Cold Sores

Many people leave the cold sores untreated as they will clear up on their own. You can choose to use creams or ointments in order to reduce the swelling and help heal the sores more quickly. Covering your cold sore with petroleum jelly helps to speed up the healing process and keeps you from developing any kind of bacterial infection. You should change your toothbrush so as not to keep re-exposing yourself. Covering the cold sore with an ice pack will help to reduce the swelling and offers some pain relief. You can also take an anti-inflammatory in order to bring down the swelling as well. Some people claim applying milk to the sore helps it to clear more quickly though there is no scientific evidence for such a remedy.

Overall a cold sore is nothing to worry about. You simply have to wait for it to heal and avoid spreading it to other people. You can cover the sore with make-up if you are embarrassed or if it gets too large. The cold sore tends to surface when you are under stress or if you take certain triggers. Staying healthy and well rested will keep the sores from developing. When you are sick, avoid things that are acidic, like orange juice, in order to keep your lips free of cold sores.


image via [nylaserdentistry]

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