People who get cold sores a lot can usually tell when an outbreak is going to happen. The telltale signs begin with an itchy or burning sensation on the lip or mouth area. Before you know it, tiny blisters appear, most commonly occurring in the same place they appeared before.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about two-thirds of adults over the age of 50 have herpes simplex virus, also known as HSV-1, and about 50% of American children between the ages of 3-5 have already contracted HSV-1. The reason for the high percentage of children with HSV-1 is because the herpes virus can be passed orally, e.g. an infected adult kisses a child or uses the same cup as the child. An adult with HSV-1 can also wipe his or her mouth on a towel and a child, who uses that same towel, can become infected.
What Happens After You’re Infected?
Upon contracting the virus, the person will most likely experience recurring outbreaks. Even if the person rarely has an outbreak, it is still possible to transmit the virus to others because it can lay dormant in the body. An outbreak exponentially increases the risk of passing the virus to other people, and precautionary measures need to be taken to prevent this.
Some home remedies will work for some, and they won’t work for others. It should be understood that most home remedies might provide relief from symptoms, but they will not necessarily reduce the duration of the outbreak. Cold sores typically last about one week or more and there are currently no known cures. Using ingredients that have powerful antiviral, antimicrobial, and immune-boosting properties are the most beneficial for providing relief from the pain and discomfort of cold sores.
Choose Vitamins C & E
Vitamin C works to boost the production of white blood cells, which the body uses to fight infections. Vitamin E, on the other hand, works to help grow new skin cells and repair damaged skin cells. Both of these nutrients can be found in many plant-based foods. Foods that are rich in vitamin C include kiwis, broccoli, spinach, peppers, berries, guavas, spinach, and citrus fruits. Vitamin E-rich foods include whole grains, nuts, and leafy greens.
Apply An Ice Pack
While it won’t make the cold sore go away, applying an ice pack works to reduce the pain or itchiness by numbing the area. The cold temperature helps to reduce inflammation in the area by restricting blood flow.
Avoid Spicy Foods
When you feel a cold sore developing or if you already have an outbreak, don’t go out and eat hot wings, curry, or any other spicy foods. Most spicy foods will irritate the area and can even worsen the pain.
Homemade Cold Sore Balm
- 30 drops melaleuca oil
- 25 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 20 drops each peppermint, lemon, oregano, ginger, and sandalwood essential oils
- carrier oil (we recommend fractionated coconut oil)
- Add all of the essential oils to a dark glass roller bottle and fill the rest of it with the carrier oil. Cover and shake to combine the oils.
- Apply this oil blend three times a day on the outbreak.
- Make sure not to touch the bottle with the finger that was used to apply the oil on the sore.
- Do not apply to sores inside the mouth.
Herbal-Infused Cold Sore Remedy
- 1 tablespoon each dried chamomile, nettle, sage, peppermint, licorice root, and Echinacea
- 2 tablespoons elderberries
- Bring one cup of water to a boil in a sauce pain.
- Place the herbs and elderberries in a small bowl and mix to combine. Add one tablespoon of this mixture to a large mug.
- Pour the boiling water into the cup and let it sit until the liquid cools. Pour the liquid through a strainer into a cup and drink the tea to help naturally boost the immune system.