Cold sores are caused by a herpes virus, which is very contagious. They are not only not pretty to look at, they can also cause pain and itching. Cold sores typically heal within 10 to 14 days, but there are things you can do at home to speed up the process.
Use over-the-counter medicine to relieve your symptoms. Painkillers such as aspirin or acetaminophen and local anaesthetic ointments can alleviate the pain cold sores can bring .
Protect the area that is affected by a cold sore by covering it with a protective petroleum based product such as petroleum jelly. It will make the healing process much faster and will prevent the area from getting infected.
Stay away from foods that are salty and acidic. Citrus fruits and foods high in salt and acid content can aggravate your cold sore, causing further discomfort.
Resort to home remedies. One example is to drink more water and non-citrus juices because they help speed up the healing process. Another example is to apply teabags to the affected area because the tannic acid in tea has strong antiviral properties. In addition, applying ice to the affected area can slow down the metabolism of the virus to prevent a severe outbreak.
Tips & Warnings
- Suck on ice pops or cubes to alleviate pain and to keep cold sores cool.
- Photo Credit closed mouth image by martin schmid from Fotolia.com
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