Cold sore is a very common disease. About 45 millions of Americans suffer from this disease and the youngest is only 12 years old. It is caused by HSV virus (herpes simplex virus). The main manifestation of the disease is the sores in the lips. This disease causes a lot of pain for the patient. More seriously, if not treated early, the disease can spread to other areas of the body. If you are concerned about the methods to treat this disease, then this article will help you. But first, let's take a look at the basics of cold sores.
What Are Cold Sores?
Cold sores are a condition caused by HSV virus (herpes simplex virus).Herpes Simplex has two types. The HSV-1 virus causes cold sores (in some cases, it can still cause genital herpes). HSV-2 is the main virus that causes genital herpes. The number of HSV-1 infected patients is much higher than that of HSV-2, about 65% of Americans have ever had HSV-1 infection and the majority of them are infected when they were a child. Cold sores are most easily spread by direct contact with infected wounds or vesicles. However, the disease can be transmitted by contact with the skin that seems uninfected. The transmission capacity of the disease has decreased over time since the initial infection, and decreased to 70% after 10 years.
If you think the sores on your lips are caused by cold sores, you need to have a medical examination to confirm your conclusion. PCR testing is the standard method for detecting HSV. This test copies your DNA from a blood sample (either from a wound or spinal fluid). They then test your DNA to determine if you have HSV infection. Your doctor may also perform another test. With this test, the doctor will use a swab to take samples from the wound, then place the sample in a Petri dish. Testing time is a bit long because of waiting for virus to develop. Eventually, your doctor will check to see what infection you have. This method is more time consuming and not as accurate as PCR testing .
What Are Common Causes Of Cold Sores?
The main cause of cold sores is herpes simplex virus. However, there are a number of risk factors that make this condition easy to occur:
- Decreased immune system makes it easy for the virus to enter the body, causing ulcers in the tongue, lips and oral cavity.
- Indigestion and constipation.
- Deficiency of B complex and zinc .
- Iron deficiency.
- The patient has had a blood vessel disorder.
- Consume too much spicy food, fried foods, fast food, processed foods and greasy foods.
- Use a hard brush to brush your teeth.
- Brushing too hard, causing damage to the lips and gums.
- Use poor quality dentures.
- Smoking too much.
What Are Signs And Symptoms Of Cold Sores?
Here are common symptoms of this condition:
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- The lips, tongue, mouth cavity or skin around the mouth have small blisters. They can appear in clusters and cause pain, itching and burning when they first appear.
- Patients may experience some symptoms such as headache, fatigue and fever. You may also experience some other symptoms as your body is fighting the herpes virus.
- Depending on the specific circumstances, the blisters will begin to change after a few hours or a few days. From hot and itchy wounds, they become sores. They secrete fluid like pus. This fluid is yellow. You can also see the blood in the fluid.
- After a few days or weeks, the sore gradually dries out. Soon, the skin around the ulcer will heal and new skin will form without causing itching or pain. The sore usually heals without scarring, with healing time depending on the severity of the previous outbreak.
You may experience other symptoms not mentioned. If you have any questions about the signs of the disease, please consult your doctor.
What Are Risk Factors?
As we said at the beginning, cold sores are a very common disease that can occur in both children and adults. However, people with weakened immune systems and those with unhealthy diets and lifestyles are at high risk.You can control this problem by minimizing risk factors. Please see your doctor for more information.
When To See Your Doctor?
If you have any signs or symptoms or have any questions, please consult your doctor. Each person's condition is different, so please consult your doctor to select the most suitable option.
Above is the information you need to know about cold sores. It is a disease that causes a lot of pain and discomfort to the patient, so prevention measures are always concerned by a lot of people. It’s time to find out the tips on how to prevent cold sores on lips, nose and inside mouth (both from developing and getting worse). Take a look at TrueRemedies.com!
Top 24 Effective Tips On How To Prevent Cold Sores On Lips, Nose & Inside Mouth From Getting Worse
First and foremost, let’s discover some general tips on how to prevent cold sores’ formation beforehand:
1. Gargle With Salt Water
Gargling with salt water sounds too good to be true, but in fact it is so effective when it comes to tips on how to prevent cold sores on lips. As you know, the virus causing cold sores spreads out very quickly. Gargling with salt water can help clean the sores, keeping the mouth from getting infected. This also makes your condition not to become worse. Salt has a good bactericidal effect. It can make cold sores dry quickly. To use salt to treat your condition, follow the instructions below:
- Mix one or two teaspoons of salt in a glass of warm water, stir well
- Use diluted saline to rinse for 3-5 minutes
Do not use too much salt to do this. If you do not have salt or cannot tolerate salty taste, replace it with baking soda. Do not swallow salt water if you do not want to feel thirsty throughout the day. All you need to do is apply this tip 2-3 times a day, especially after each meal and before going to bed.
2. Know The Risky Factors
To know how to prevent cold sores effectively, you need to know when the cold sores are most contagious. Even when an individual goes through an outbreak of cold sores, it is still hard to know whether or not the virus is shed. Basically, the individual is at his/her most contagious status when the blisters are available. Cold sores often persist for 7 to 10 days.
3. Pay More Attention To Your Partner
You should be careful when kissing or having sex with someone. Typically, the HSV is spread from person to person, be it through kissing or having sex. The most contagious stage of cold sores is when erupting and active blister-like sores are available, either near the genitalia or lips. After the cold sores become dried and crusted over, the contagion risk is decreased significantly. Nonetheless, bear in mind that HSV may spread without any cold sores present, as it could infect saliva as well as other fluids in the body.
4. Avoid Sharing Food And Beverages
HSV normally lives in the ganglions – the nerves near spinal cord. Then, it becomes triggered and move within smaller peripheral nerves to the skin surface before erupting there and leading to sore buildup.
Nonetheless, as mentioned earlier, HSV could also live in blood and saliva, so you can decrease the risk of being infected through saliva by not sharing the foods and drinks with anybody, no matter how healthy they are. Especially, avoid sharing spoons, forks, and straws with others.
5. Maintain Good Hygiene
Despite it is rather rare to catch HSV virus as well as cold sores from common contaminated surfaces like countertops, toilet seats, towels or washcloths, it may still happen in fact. Besides, unless you maintain good hygiene, you are also at a higher risk of getting infected saliva or other body fluids from another individual and then rubbing it over your eyes or mouth. Thus, it is best to wash your hands with regular soap and water after touching people.
The above are general tips on how to prevent cold sores formation in advance. Below, we also reveal some tips on how to prevent cold sores from getting worse. Let’s take a look!
6. Hydrogen Peroxide
Another must-try tip on how to prevent cold sores on lips from getting worse is using hydrogen peroxide. Like salt water, hydrogen peroxide can soothe cold sore and prevent their further development on your lips. To do this, please apply these steps below:
- Mix hydrogen peroxide 3% with 1/4 cup of water
- Dip a cotton swab into the solution and apply it to the affected area
- After cleaning the cold sores
- Dip another clean cotton pad into the solution and place it on the cold sores for a few seconds
Do not drink this solution. Hydrogen peroxide is not drinkable. You should only use a sufficient amount of liquid to wet cotton swabs. Repeat this tip twice daily in the morning and at night to get the best results.
7. Ice Cubes
Using ice cubes is one of temporary but simple tip ton how to prevent cold sores on lips from developing. The temperature of the ice cube can reduce swelling and pain. You can use your tongue to apply an ice cube directly to the ulcer if you can. If you feel the ice cube is too cold, try to drink cold water at least once a day.
8. Echinacea Chrysanthemum
Used long ago to fight colds and infections, Echinacea Chrysanthemum is a natural herbal ingredient that has been used extensively in recent years. Echinacea Chrysanthemum can be used in the form of juice, alcohol or extract (such as tea). Although many people use to treat cold sores, this effect of Echinacea Chrysanthemum has no scientific evidence. However, it is also very safe and benign, you can try to use it to see if it works for your condition or not .
9. Cold Tea Bags
This tip on how to prevent cold sores on lips is dirty-cheap. Some people believe that tannins in teas help treat the symptoms of cold sores when they appear and prevent the progress of the condition. All you need to do is:
- Heat enough water to soak tea bags
- Cool the tea bag under cold water until the tea bag is no longer warm
- Put tea bags on the affected area and leave for a few minutes
- Use a soft and clean towel to dry the affected area
You can apply this tip 2-3 times a day until your condition is thoroughly treated.
Among tips on how to prevent cold sores on lips from developing, monolaurin is renowned. Monolaurin consists of glycerol and lauric acid – two substances that make up coconut oil. Coconut oil is known for its antiviral and antimicrobial properties. Prepare food with coconut oil and drink coconut water to boost the immune system. Apply coconut oil directly to the cold sores to treat it quickly. Buy Monolaurin in the form of tablets (if it's a capsule, you can break the capsules and pour Monolaurin in almond milk or coconut milk). Be sure to check to see if Monolaurin is contraindicated with the medication you are taking.
11. Lysine or L-lysine To Prevent Cold Sores
Lysine is the essential amino acid that has many effects on the human body (calcium absorption, collagen formation, and carnitine production). For cold sores, lysine helps prevent its outbreak by blocking arginine, which supports the replication of the virus. However, the results of clinical trials for the use of lysine are not consistent and scientists believe that Lysine helps prevent cold sores better than treating this disease.
12. Use Ointment Containing Beeswax
Not many people know that beeswax has the ability to take control of cold sore development. So, it should definitely be mentioned in this list of tips on how to prevent cold sores on lips naturally.
In a recent study, ointment containing beeswax was used four times daily for 10 days for 30 volunteers. Then, 24 of the 30 volunteers reported that their cold sores had been treated. Meanwhile, only 14 of the 30 volunteers using the placebo reported that their cold sores had been treated. In its natural state, beeswax is a colloidal material that is collected from birch shoots. However, beeswax is usually harvested from honeycomb. Ointments containing 3% beeswax (such as Herstat or ColdSore-FX) can help with cold sores.
13. Take Valacyclovir (Valtrex)
There is no measure which can completely treat cold sores, but you can shorten the duration of the outbreaks. As soon as the disease outbreak, you should go to the doctor to be prescribed medicine. After the diagnosis is made, your doctor will prescribe medication to help you start the treatment. Valacyclovir is a commonly prescribed medication. If your condition is the first outbreak, you should start taking Valacyclovir within 48 hours of the onset and for 10 consecutive days. The dosage depends on the individual patient and should be taken as directed by your doctor.
If the disease is frequent (9 times a year), you can use Valacyclovir as an inhibitor. This means that you take medicine to stop the outbreak instead of drinking only when the first signs of the disease. If you choose this solution, you must take the medicine prescribed by your doctor (usual dose is 500mg 2 times a day and taken daily). If the disease is frequent (9 times a year), you can use Valacyclovir as an inhibitor. This means that you can take medicine to stop the outbreak instead of drinking only when you realize the first signs of the disease. If you choose this solution, you must take the medicine prescribed by your doctor.
14. Taking Acyclovir (Zovirax)
Regarding how to prevent cold sores on lips at home, Acyclovir seems to be the latest choice as it is considered a medicine. Although Valacyclovir is the latest medicine for herpes, you can also take older drugs that are not commonly used. The reason is because these drugs can cause many problems for the patient. However, their cost is much cheaper than Valacyclovir. As with other medications, the dose depends on each patient, so you should take as the prescriptions of your doctor.
15. Ask Your Doctor About Famciclovir (Famvir)
To know how to prevent cold sores on lips from getting worse, do not hesitate to ask your doctor about Famciclovir. As with other medications, it is best to ask your doctor for this medicine within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. The dose depends on the individual patient, so you should take as prescribed by your doctor.
16. Reduce The Absorption Of Acid
Some cold sores are caused by excess acid in the mouth (or too low pH). Here's the way to balance the pH:
- Avoid foods and beverages that contain acids. Keep away from carbonated beverages, citrus fruits, spicy foods and hard foods, such as toasts.
- Apply magnesium – oxide milk to the cold sores. Use a cotton swab to do this 1-2 times a day.
17. Use Mouthwash
The next tip on how to prevent cold sores on lips from developing is using mouthwash. Frequent use of mouthwash helps to remove harmful bacteria and in some cases, it also helps to relieve pain. Use an over-the-counter mouthwash. Most mouthwashes can treat this disease quite effectively. Use mouthwash every morning and evening, maybe after lunch, even if your condition has improved. You can use diphenhydramine mouthwash. These types may also help numb the pain.
Note: Do not drink mouthwash.
18. Treat The Pain
If you cannot cure the sores in your mouth immediately, in some situations, you may still be able to forget about it by using analgesic. You can take over-the-counter analgesic. Avoid taking aspirin if you are under 18 years old. In addition, you can also use anesthetic gel. This drug is available in most pharmacies. It is an over-the-counter medicine for children who have a toothache. You can also use this gel several times a day.
19. Eat Seaweed
Eating seaweed is another natural but efficient way on how to prevent cold sores on lips from getting worse. Researchers have found that seaweed has the potential to heal the symptoms of cold sores. Different types of seaweed, such as South American red seaweed, Indian seaweed and Indian red seaweed, can inhibit the growth of HSV. These types of seaweed are used as a healing food by adding to salads or stews.
20. Take Antiviral Medications
Although it is not a natural remedy, antiviral medications should still be considered to help prevent cold sores from becoming worse too fast. In addition, the drug also reduces the risk of spreading the disease to others (but does not completely eliminate the risk). Common antiviral medications for the treatment of HSV include acyclovir (Zovirax), famciclovir (Famvir) and valacyclovir (Valtrex).Their most common side effects are nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, headache, fatigue, dizziness, and muscle aches.
21. Participate In Activities That Reduce Stress
Cold sores can have a lot of impact on your life. During treatment, you may feel stressed. But this certainly is not good for the disease because the stress only makes the situation worse. Stress management can help prevent disease. You must fight it by relaxing. Consider taking an activity that helps you maintain balance and calm, such as yoga, painting or meditation. Meditation has a great stress relieving effect. You can meditate everywhere and at any time. To successfully meditate, you need to practice and be patient.
Besides, exercise regularly. Exercise is an excellent natural way to reduce stress and improve physical health. Maintaining physical strength helps to prevent illness and protect the immune system, thus preventing cold sores. Our bodies work best when they are exercised. You should start slowly by walking more. For example, park your car away from the company, use the stairs instead of the elevator, take the dog for a walk or stroll after dinner. You can also sign up for the gym and find a fitness trainer. Some exercises you should try are weight lifting, cardiovascular exercise, yoga, or full-body exercise. In general, practice the way you like and persevere. You can also consult your doctor to know what you should or should not do.
22. How To Prevent Cold Sores – Rest
It is essential for people with cold sores to take plenty of rest to take control of their symptoms. Raising energy levels by getting enough sleep will help you avoid illness and control stress (both physically and emotionally). Try to sleep 7 to 8 hours a night and avoid activities that put your body under high pressure, such as running a marathon.
23. Avoid Infection-Induced Activities
This is the next tip how to prevent cold sores on lips from developing. Wash your hands frequently and avoid contagious areas (such as a waiting area in a hospital). Always boosting the immune system is an important step in the treatment and prevention of cold sores.
24. Eat Healthier
Eating healthier is the last but not least important tip on how to prevent cold sores on lips. When you have HSV infection, you need to keep your body healthy by eating healthy. Avoid eating processed or packaged foods. Increase the amount of fruits, vegetables, vegetable oils, nuts and probiotic-rich foods consumed each day . Limit red meat intake, increase the consumption of skinless poultry and fish. Concentrate on complex carbohydrates found in whole grains, lentils, beans and vegetables. Avoid consuming processed foods with sugar, such as corn syrup (very rich in fructose). If you need something sweet, use sweet grass, which is 60 times sweeter than sugar. Also, you should avoid artificial sweeteners.
Above are tips to help you prevent cold sores. We need to emphasize that prevention and treatment should always be done as soon as possible. So, quickly apply the tips above to feel more comfortable. If you have any contributing ideas about our article of “Top 24 Simple Tips On How To Prevent Cold Sores On Lips, Nose & Inside Mouth” introduced in How To Category, do not hesitate to drop your words below this post. We will answer as soon as we could.