Cold sores caused by herpes can appear anywhere on the body. We are used to seeing them on and around the lips, but for some people they erupt in a very sensitive part of the face—the nose. And it’s no surprise cold sores on or in nose appear when you have a cold or flu.
Where Do Cold Sores Come From?
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV -1). You may have been infected by someone else when you were very young. The virus is extremely contagious and spreads easily. Children don’t have fully developed immune systems which is why it is so easy for them to pick up.
The virus spreads by contact, and you can pass it on even when you don’t have a cold sore. That’s because it hides in the nerve cells until stress or illness trigger it to erupt again. While it’s almost impossible to rid your body of the virus completely, there are some things you can do to make the cold sores in your nose disappear as quickly as possible.
Four Home Remedies for Healing Cold Sores
On average it takes between 10 and 14 days for a cold sore to heal without treating it. You can reduce that time by using some simple home remedies:
- Vitamin C: This antioxidant provides a real boost to your immune system which means it can aid your own body in clearing up a cold sore. So the moment you feel that tell-tale tingle, reach for an orange, eat strawberries or add an extra helping of broccoli to your evening meal. These foods are all high in Vitamin C. Alternatively; you could get a supplement and take it daily until the cold sore goes away.
- Saline nasal rinse: It may be uncomfortable, but salt acts like an antiseptic. It will keep your nasal passages clean and clear and reduce inflammation. All you need is salt and water and a small bottle you can use to squirt the solution up your nose. It takes some practice but your symptoms should ease quickly.
Garlic: Known for its antibacterial qualities, a garlic paste can be applied to the cold sore three times a day for 10 – 15 minutes. It works well, but it’s not for everyone. Unless you’re happy to smell like garlic all day, you might not want to try this remedy unless you’re desperate.
- Witch hazel: Because it’s an astringent, witch hazel dries out the blister before it has a chance to burst and form a scab in your nose. Apply it gently with a Q-tip or cotton ball a few times a day.
- Lysine: This is an amino acid that can stop the virus from replicating. Your body can’t make it so you need to get it from your diet. Foods such as red meat, fish, poultry, eggs and beans all contain lysine. You can also get it as supplement in tablet, powder or liquid form. Take 1000mg three times a day when you’re experiencing a flare-up. You can also take 1000mg once a day to reduce future outbreaks.
All of these suggestions can help you deal with a cold sore. But if you want to tame the HSV-1 virus you need to take a long-term, holistic approach to your general health. The virus is largely kept under control by you immune system. So avoid triggers like stress and illness by eating well, exercising and getting sufficient sleep.
Cold sores in the nose can be extremely painful, but they are usually a sign that you’re run-down and need to take better care of yourself. Don’t think of them as an inconvenience, but as an indicator of your well-being.