Before it appears you can feel it coming. That tingling sensation on your lip is a sure sign you’re about to get a cold sore. A cluster of small, painful blisters starts to erupt on your lip. It’s itchy and embarrassing and you don’t know how long it will be before you can show your face in public again.
Cold sores often appear around your mouth, making you feel self-conscious about your appearance. It’s almost impossible to conceal them with makeup. And even if nobody else seems to notice it, the swelling and heat it generates means you can’t ignore it. The itching can drive you crazy and it takes a lot of willpower to resist scratching it.
Even after the fluid has drained from the blisters, you’re left with a crusty patch of skin that’s unattractive and irritating. Cold sores can take between ten to fourteen days to clear up on their own. Once you’ve had one cold sore, you can look forward to more outbreaks for the rest of your life.
Prescription medication can only help you shorten the duration of an outbreak. And doctors will tell you it cannot be cured. But cold sores are nothing new. People have been suffering from them for centuries. Over the years, many natural remedies have been developed to treat cold sores. They are often more effective than anything your doctor could prescribe. Understanding why cold sores occur will help you find a remedy that works for you in the short term as well as how to get rid of cold sores for good.
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What Causes a Cold Sore?
Cold sores (sometimes referred to as fever blisters) are caused by a virus. The Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV-1) is similar to the same virus that’s responsible for genital herpes. And while HSV-1 is responsible for oral infections, it can spread to the eyes and genitals too.
The first time you got a cold sore you may have had some other symptoms. Headaches, fever and body aches often appear with the initial infection. You probably thought you had the flu. That’s why these lesions are commonly referred to as cold sores and fever blisters.
Although these symptoms soon disappear, the virus does not. It retreats into the body, hiding in the nerve ganglia where it lies dormant until something triggers it. In fact, a cold sore is often a sign that you’ve been pushing yourself too hard.
When you’re stressed or tired, your immune system is weaker. The virus takes advantage of your weakened defences and reactivates itself. Some other triggers, like sunlight and dry skin can also reawaken the virus. Using a sunscreen and keeping your skin moist can prevent unnecessary outbreaks.
How do Cold Sores Spread?
Cold sores are spread by direct contact. You may have been infected by kissing someone who has the virus or even if you just touched their hand after they touched their cold sore. Practising good hygiene can reduce the spread of the virus. It can be killed with soap and water. If you have a cold sore, wash your hands often to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others.
It’s important to avoid touching your cold sore. Not only will this help it heal faster, but you won’t spread the virus to other areas of your body. The virus is carried in the fluid and even the scabs can be contagious. While the HSV-1 virus is the most common cause of cold sores on the lips, it can spread to the inside of the mouth, or even the eyes. An infection of the gums or eyes can be even more serious and painful. As difficult as it is, resisting the urge to scratch your cold sore is essential if you want to avoid further complications.
Sometimes the virus reactivates without showing any symptoms. This is called viral shedding and may happen several times a year. During this period you’re still contagious. Once you’re infected, you carry the virus for life so you’ll always have to be aware that you might pass it on to others. Small children and patients are particularly vulnerable because their immune systems aren’t as strong.
How are Cold Sores Treated?
Your doctor will probably write you a prescription for an antiviral cream. But you’ll need to start using it at the prodromal stage. This is when tingling, itching and burning sensations signal that a cold sore is about to appear. Using an antiviral cream once the blister has already formed will do little to relieve the discomfort or to speed up the healing process.
Antiviral creams are also available from a chemist without a prescription. But these creams aren’t specifically designed to treat cold sores. They might soothe the pain, but they won’t help the blister heal any faster.
Antiviral tablets are also available, but these are usually only prescribed for severe cases. They work by stopping the virus from replicating and may reduce the duration of an outbreak. These are powerful drugs that tend to have many unpleasant side-effects, ranging from mild to serious. And while they may help you cope with the symptoms, they cannot eradicate the virus completely.They can also be quite expensive.
Who wants to spend the rest of their life paying for expensive medication that doesn’t solve the problem? Whether you have several outbreaks a year, or only get a cold sore once in a while, wouldn’t you rather spend your money on something that works?
How to Get Rid of Cold Sores With Natural Treatments
While modern medicine struggles to find a definitive cure for the herpes virus, thousands of natural healers and homeopaths have already found the answer. Gentle on the body and far more effective, natural treatments can offer you relief and help to prevent future outbreaks. They won’t break the bank either and you probably have some of them in your cupboard right now.
If you already have a blister on your lip and you just want to get rid of it as quickly as possible, here are some of the things you can use:
- Witch-hazel: Easy to find at your local chemist or general store, witch-hazel is useful for a number of skin ailments. Use a cotton swab or earbud to dab it on the cold sore a few times during the day. It will ease the itching and stinging and dry the blister out faster.
- Aloe Vera: Not only does it soothe dry and irritated skin, it also helps to kill bacteria. Keeping your cold sore clean and moist will help speed up the healing process.
- Peppermint Oil: Peppermint oil is extremely effective at killing virus particles once they’re outside of the body. Although drinking it won’t help, dabbing it on your cold sore will eliminate any vestiges of the virus that lurk on the sore itself. It also significantly reduces the healing time.
- Corn Flour Paste: Nothing takes the sting out of a fever blister like a paste made from corn flour and water. It works by neutralising the pH of the sore, which prefers an acidic environment. You can leave it on overnight and it will cut the healing time in half.
- Milk: Packed with virus fighting immunoglobulins, cold milk takes the heat and sting right out of a cold sore. Soak a cotton ball in a small amount of milk and press it on the cold sore for several minutes.
All of these remedies are as effective at treating a cold sore as anything your doctor could prescribe. They are all perfectly safe to use and don’t have any harmful side effects.
If your outbreaks are more frequent, you may want to consider a product called Herpeset. It’s a liquid blend of plant extracts and homeopathic preparations that together form a powerful remedy for treating cold sores. Here’s a quick breakdown of what it contains and how it works:
- Rhustox: Reduces itching and inflammation.
- ApisMellifica: Stops stinging and burning pain.
- Baptista(Wild Indigo): Speed the healing of ulcers.
- Capsicum: Relieves the pain associated with cold sores.
- NitricumAcidum: Heals cracked and bleeding skin.
- Pyrogenium: An antiseptic used for healing ulcers.
Individually, any of these ingredients could be used to treat a cold sore. But when they’re combined, they become even more potent. Herpeset is very safe to use and there are no known side-effects associated with the use of this product. All of the ingredients are natural, or in low concentrations that cannot cause any harm.
Herpeset is available as a spray-application. You simply spray the mixture under your tongue about three times a day where it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. It works from the inside out, without upsetting the natural balance of your body (unlike traditional medicine). You can get it from the official website here.
Of course, the ultimate goal would be to completely rid yourself of the virus. Then you would never have to worry about cold sores or infecting someone you love. But if modern medicine can’t do it, how can you?
Actually, it can be done and it doesn’t require expensive medication to do it. The secret lies in working with your immune system to help it fight the virus. These are some of things you can use to get your immune system fighting fit:
- Eat foods rich in lysine: Lysine is an amino acid that blocks arginine, another immuno acid that viruses need in order to grow. It’s also available as a supplement that you can take every day.
- Avoid acidic foods: Herpes, like many other viruses tends to thrive in acidic environments. Keeping your body more pH neutral will help to kill the virus.
- Take a daily zinc supplement: Studies have shown that zinc is effective at reducing the number of outbreaks experienced in a year. It also helps to significantly reduce the duration of an outbreak.
- Take Echinacea: A popular remedy for fighting colds and flu, Echinacea is a general immune booster that will help to cut down the number of outbreaks you experience over time.
- Load up on Vitamin C: Vitamin C can boost your white blood cell count and it’s these white blood cells that are sent in to battle viruses.Having a good supply of white blood cells allows you to fight off unwanted intruders without losing energy and strength.
But no matter how much you boost your immune system, the herpes virus has something that makes it very difficult to beat. A tough protein barrier coating protects the virus, acting like armour against your body’s natural defences.
In her book, The Ultimate Herpes Protocol, Melanie Addington shares the secret of how to break down the virus’ defence, allowing your body to conquer it once and for all. Melanie discovered this when she worked with her father, a medical doctor, to cure her own herpes infection.
She tried conventional medication, but experienced severe side-effects from the pills her doctor prescribed. Even switching medication didn’t help and she became depressed and despondent. Finally, she took matters into her own hands and together with her father, created a programme to that completely eliminates the herpes virus from the body.
The Ultimate Herpes Protocol consists of three stages. First, you’ll learn what to eat to boost your immune system. Having a strong immune system is essential for the second stage. This is where you’ll discover how to dissolve the protein coating around the virus, leaving it vulnerable to attack. Finally, Melanie will teach you how to stop the virus from replicating. Without being able to replicate there is no way the virus can hide in your body.
To date she has helped about 7500 people completely cure themselves of a herpes infection. And she can do the same for you. With a little time and effort, and the knowledge you’ll gain from The Ultimate Herpes Protocol, you’ll be able to beat this virus and remain free of cold sores for the rest of your life. If dealing with the root cause itself is for you, you can learn more from the official Ultimate Herpes Protocol here.
Cold sores are so common that many people don’t understand the fuss about them. Yes they’re painful and embarrassing, but they hardly seem life-threatening. But a cold sore is actually just a symptom of something more serious. The herpes virus responsible for cold sores can cause serious complications.
That’s why it’s important to treat the cause and not just the symptoms. Although modern medicine can’t help you with the problem, natural alternatives can. They’re safer, more effective and cheaper. Are you serious about getting rid of cold sores for good?