Cold sores, or fever blisters, are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). They are filled with fluid and are painful. Cold sores can appear anywhere on the body but are commonly found on the nostrils, lips, chin, outer mouth area and under the nose. They can also sometimes appear in the roof of the mouth or on the gums. By employing all the methods below, you can safely and effectively treat cold sores.
Things You'll Need
- Campho-phenique ointment
- Antiviral medication
- Sunblock lotion
- Zinc oxide lip balm
Apply a cold sore treatment such as campho-phenique under your nose. This ointment prevents infections and dries up cold sores. It also relieves any pain and itchiness associated with cold sores. Apply it at the first signs of a cold sore and scab formation.
Apply zinc oxide lip balm under your nose twice a day or when needed. This medication can help lessen the symptoms of cold sores, reduce infections and prevent recurrences.
Take an antiviral medication such as Valtrex once daily. This prescription drug for herpes can effectively lessen the duration of a cold sore. The safe and recommended dosage for Valtrex is 2 grams to be consumed at the first signs of a cold sore, such as itching, tingling and burning, and then again 12 hours later. Contact your doctor to have Valtrex prescribed to you.
Apply sunblock lotion to the cold sores 30 minutes before going outdoors. Exposure to sunlight will exacerbate an outbreak of cold sores. Using sunblock can prevent induced recurrences of cold sores. Make sure to use sunblock with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 and above. Apply more sunblock after 3 hours if you plan on staying outside.
Tips & Warnings
- Consult your physician before attempting any self-treatments for cold sores.
- "Medical Diagnosis and Treatment," Stephen J. McPhee, MD, Publisher: McGraw-Hill 2006
- Cold Sores