Have you come across small red blisters around your lips? Are they painful? If yes, then you are said to be suffering with a cold sore. Cold sores are often known as fever blisters, which are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). It is an infection that may cause single cold sore around your lips or maybe more than that.
A cold sore appears like a blister around the lips, and it usually lasts for 7 to 10 days, during which it becomes contagious. Although a cold sore infection is generally not serious, it can be a major problem for people with a weak immune system due to disorders. Even after a cold sore heals, the herpes virus remains, and it can cause future outbreaks in the same area of the mouth or face.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around two-thirds of adults aged 50 and older have cold sores. Cold sores are accompanied by a fever, sore throat, aches and pains, and a headache. They can also be triggered by things like stress, hormonal fluctuations, surgery, fevers, illness, or sun exposure.
There is currently no cure for this. However, there are many ways to decrease the length, intensity, and frequency of the outbreaks by applying these home remedies for cold sores around your lips. Have a look.
Ice can help lower the swelling, redness, and pain caused by a cold sore. It will soothe the area within minutes.
- Wrap a few ice cubes in a clean towel.
- Place it over the cold sore for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Repeat this method every three to four hours.
Garlic contains enzymes that act as antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal agents which help in treating cold sores. In addition, it is also anti-inflammatory in nature and reduces swelling and inflammation.
- Crush one-half of the garlic and apply it on the affected area.
- Leave it on for 10 minutes.
- Repeat the method three to five times a day.
- Beware! You may feel a burning sensation when applying raw garlic on the cold sores.
3. Licorice Root
Licorice root is a herb that prevents and treats cold sores. It has an active substance called glycyrrhizin with anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of licorice root powder and 1/2 teaspoon of water.
- Apply this paste on the cold sore using a cotton swab or your fingertip.
- Leave it on for a few hours and do this several times in a day.
- If you are prone to cold sores, consume licorice root on a regular basis to help minimize outbreaks.
4. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm speeds up the healing process, soothes the skin, and prevents the infection from spreading anywhere else. Lemon balm has tannins and polyphenolic compounds that contribute to its antiviral effects.
- Steep 2 teaspoons of dried lemon balm leaves in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes.
- Strain and drink it.
- Consume four cups of this herbal tea daily.
5. Cold Milk
Milk contains immunoglobulins that stop the virus which causes cold sores. Plus, it also has antiviral effects. Cold milk helps soothe the tingling sensation and discomfort in the affected area.
- Soak a cotton ball in cold milk.
- Apply it on the affected area and leave it on for about 10 minutes.
- Do this two times in a day.
6. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil contains antiviral properties that can help treat cold sores and speed up the healing process.
- Dilute one part of tea tree oil in half a cup of water.
- Dip a cotton ball in the mixture and apply it on your cold sore three times in a day.
- Or you can combine tea tree oil with an equal amount of olive oil and eucalyptus oil.
- Apply this mixture two to three times in a day.
7. Eat Immune-Boosting Foods
People with a weakened immune system can have severe cold sores which can be very serious. So, eating foods that boost up the immune system can be very helpful. Consume probiotic foods like yogurt, milk, and apple cider vinegar, to boost the immune system naturally. Vegetables are also great sources of vitamins, and minerals that can help you to fight off infections.
8. Increase Zinc Intake
Zinc is an essential trace mineral needed to maintain overall health, reduce inflammation and boost immunity. Zinc is usually available in various forms, including syrups, and capsules. These supplements can contain zinc in the form of zinc gluconate, zinc sulfate or zinc acetate.
Also, you could eat foods rich in zinc like eggs, walnuts, almonds, cashews and other dry fruits.
Spinach, watermelon seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc., are also rich in zinc.
9. Vitamin E
Vitamin E helps soothe the skin and may help to bring relief from pain and discomfort from cold sores. It has antioxidant properties that can repair damaged skin and reduce inflammation.
- Vitamin E can be taken in the form of oral capsules.
- Or you can boost your levels with vitamin E-rich foods, such as almonds, spinach, sweet potatoes, avocados, sunflower seeds and olive oil.
10. Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps in boosting the white blood cell count, which helps defend your body against invaders. Take a vitamin C capsule to boost your immunity and promote skin health that will help heal cold sores.
You can also eat foods rich in vitamin C like oranges, red peppers, green peppers, kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, strawberries, grapefruit and kiwi.
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