If you feel a hot, red, raised bump near or on your lip, you probably have a cold sore. Cold sores originate from the herpes virus family. Once you are infected, you may continue to experience flair ups. Cold sores take 10 to 14 days to heal. There is no medicine that will instantly cure the sores, but there are some remedies to ease the pain and speed recovery.
Hold a piece of ice against an emerging sore for 10 to 15 minutes every few hours throughout the day. Icing it down early reduces the virus's metabolism and slows its progress. If you feel the area becoming sore or red again, reapply ice for 10 to 15 minutes every few hours.
Apply a warm tea bag to treat an opened cold sore. The tannic acid in a warm, moist bag of black tea like Earl Grey helps reduce swelling and relieve the pain.
Another way to use black tea bags is to soak them in hot water then freeze them. The iced tea bags will ease the cold sore pain, and the tea compound's antiviral phytonutrients attack the herpes virus.
Fruits and Vegetables
Researchers from the General Nutrition Corporation, the Indiana School of Medicine and the UCSB Computer Sciences Department found that consuming foods rich in the compound lysine, such as apples and mangoes, had a significant impact on reducing severity of cold sore outbreaks.
A six-month study tracked 1,543 herpes cold sore sufferers. The group took a daily dose of 936mg of lysine. Nine out of 10 had reduced outbreaks and severity of symptoms.
Broccoli contains high levels of Indole-3-carbinol, which may help deaden the herpes virus. Brussels sprouts and cabbage are other vegetables that also contain Indole-3-carbinol.
According to Dr. Patricia Winokur of the University of Iowa, the prescription medication acyclovir can lessen the number of outbreaks and shorten the course of cold sores. Aspirin or acetaminophen can help ease the pain from cold sores.
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