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 and once you are infected you can experience flair ups for the rest of your life. Treating cold sores take 10 to 14 days to heal and you still have to put up with the pain and embarrassment during the healing process. Treat your cold sore early and prevent it from blooming into a full blown red sore.
Grab a hunk of ice and press it against the area the minute you feel that familiar tingle near your lip, hold a piece of ice against the emerging sore for approximately 10 to 15 minutes every few hours throughout the day. Icing it down early in the game reduces the virus’ metabolism and makes it retreat back into a dormant state.
Icing the cold sore before it becomes full blown may prevent it from emerging into an actual sore. If you feel it getting sore or red again re-apply ice for 10 to 15 minutes every few hours and the pain and swelling should subside.
Apply a warm tea bag to treat an opened cold sore. The tannic acid in a warm moist bag of black tea (specifically Earl Grey) helps reduce swelling and relive the pain.
Another way to use black tea bags is to soak them in hot water then freeze them. Use the frozen tea bags for a cold sore one-two punch. The iced tea bags will ease the cold sore pain and the tea compound’s anti-viral phyto-nutrients attack the herpes virus.
Fruits and Vegetables
Eating your fruits and vegetables is even more important when it comes to beating cold sores. 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.
The group conducted a six month study tracking 1,543 herpes cold sore sufferers. The group took a daily dose of 936 milligrams of lysine and nine out of 10 sufferers had reduced outbreaks and severity of symptoms. Lysine is in nearly every food including beef, lamb, fish, dairy, eggs and even ice cream.
Another food contributing to the cold sore fight is broccoli. Broccoli contains high levels of Indole-3-carbinol which may help deaden the herpes virus. Brussel sprouts and cabbage are other vegetables that also contain Indole-3-carbinol.