What is the fastest way to heal a cold sore?

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What is the fastest way to heal a cold sore?

 They're excruciating. They're unappealing. They're vexing. Cold sores (also known as fever blisters) are simply unpleasant. When one appears on your lip or in your mouth, your first thought is probably: What's the quickest method to get rid of this thing?


"Herpes simplex virus – the virus that causes cold sores — is very communicable, and viral infection is really frequent," says Dr. Donald Brown, a general care practitioner at Houston Methodist. "In reality, more than half of individuals in the United States are infected with the kind of herpes virus that produces cold sores. Surprisingly, most individuals who catch the virus never show any symptoms."


If the virus does produce cold sores, it may be passed from person to person by close contact, such as kissing. However, 

you may be unaware that the infection may also spread by sharing:

  • Cosmetics
  • Food and beverages
  • Lip gloss
  • Razors\sToothbrushes
  • Towels
  • Drinking glasses and utensils
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"The virus is most infectious when there is a cold sore, especially when the blister starts to flow," Dr. Brown says. "However, it's vital to remember that you may still transfer the virus even after a cold sore heals — and even when there isn't even a blister."


When you acquire a cold sore, you probably want it to go away quickly if you're used to those painful, fluid-filled blisters.


What are the most effective methods for treating a cold sore?

Unfortunately, there is no treatment for cold sores, and they may take two to four weeks to heal on their own. There are, however, things you may do to help them go gone quicker.


Here are three items that might help relieve a cold sore or speed up its healing:


1. Experiment with home cures. There are numerous therapies that, when applied early, may help relieve discomfort and swelling – and may even lessen the length of a cold sore:

  • a wet, cold washcloth
  • Cold compresses or ice
  • Ibuprofen and acetaminophen, as well as petroleum jelly, are pain relievers.

2. Apply topical lotions and ointments to the affected area. Over-the-counter anesthetic ointments and lotions, such as lidocaine or benzocaine, may help manage discomfort. When taken early and in large quantities, certain products, such as those containing docosanol or benzyl alcohol, may even encourage speedier recovery.


3. Use prescribed drugs. Acyclovir, valacyclovir, famciclovir, and penciclovir are antiviral medications that may help cold sores heal quicker. If you have recurrent breakouts or are suffering from any of the more significant side effects of having a cold sore, your doctor may recommend antiviral medicine.


"The greatest thing you can do to get rid of a cold sore rapidly is to start treating it as soon as possible," advises Dr. Brown. "A burning or tingling feeling on your lips or face may be an early warning sign of the development of a cold sore, and the sooner you start lowering swelling and treating the cold sore, the quicker it will recover."


How can I prevent the formation of cold sores?

So you nipped your previous cold sore flare-up in the bud (like a champ), and it lasted less than a week — but now the cold sores are back, only a few months later. There is good news and there is negative news. Let us begin with the unpleasant news.


"Once infected with the herpes simplex virus, a person is infected for life," explains Dr. Brown. "The virus does not leave your body once a cold sore heals. Instead, the virus enters your nerves, where it may remain latent for extended periods of time. When the virus resurfaces, it usually does so in the same location as previously."


So, what causes the virus to reactivate and flare-up?


According to Dr. Brown, the following factors might cause a cold sore outbreak:

  • Fever
  • Illness, such as a cold
  • Menstruation\sStress
  • Sunlight
  • Immune system deficiency


But there is some good news. While some of these triggers are beyond your control, others may be avoided.

"Stress may impair your immune system, which might cause cold sores to reappear. If you have cold sores and suspect they are caused by stress, it is a good idea to manage your stress with meditation or other relaxation methods "Dr. Brown makes a suggestion. "If you've found that your flare-ups are caused by the sun, use sunscreen or UV-protective lip balm before going out in the sun."

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