If you’re not a fan of taking supplements and prefer to enrich your diet in products that contain a lot of lysine, think about incorporating more fresh fish, cheese and vegetables, especially beans, in your diet. This will not only help you prevent and treat cold sores, but will improve the overall condition of your body.
Ginger has countless properties that can benefit our health. When you suffer from cold sore in the nose or on the lip, you can prepare some ginger paste that will speed up the process of healing. You can use ground ginger or finely grate the ginger root. Add a few drops of lukewarm water and apply the paste with a Q-tip on the cold sore. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Ginger not only works as an antiseptic, but also dries up the liquid that is produced in the infected area, which, in turn, helps prevent the virus from spreading on the adjacent zones.
Aloe vera helps cure all kinds of skin problems, from discolouration to inflammation and sunburns. If you apply a bit of aloe vera gel on your cold sore, you can be sure that the infected skin will heal much faster and the cold sore symptoms will become less noticeable. For better results it is recommended that you keep aloe vera in the fridge. Lower temperature of the product will bring an extra soothing sensation and reduce swelling in the cold sore area.
People who have noticed a recurring cold sore should take a better care of their immune system. Every time it weakens, they can expect an outburst of painful spots filled with unpleasant fluid. In order to fortify the immune system, they need to increase the intake of probiotics. They can be purchased in the form of capsules or tablets in any pharmacy as well as in many supplement stores. A more natural alternative to pharmaceutical probiotics are unsweetened natural yoghurts and cottage cheese. Research shows that maintaining the right level of good bacteria in your body through supplementation or diet can make you over 60% less prone to viral infections.
Over the Counter Medicines
Contemporary medicine offers numerous solutions to the cold sore. There is a wide range of creams, ointments and tablets which alleviate the syndromes of cold sore in the nose. The majority of them are available without prescription. In fact, hardly anyone consults the doctor about this condition, unless it’s their cold sore debut, which is usually the most painful one.
The most effective among all cold sore medicines are the ones that fall into the category of antivirals. While the pills are available only upon prescription, there are many over-the-counter creams and ointments that contain a small amount of the active ingredient and when applied to the tingling spot in or around your nose, it can reduce or completely stop the outburst. The key is to be able to recognise the first symptoms of cold sore in the nose, have the appropriate ointment at hand and act fast.
Simple analgesics, or pain killers, like aspirin and ibuprofen are recommended to those who are severely affected by pain caused by a cold sore. Analgesics don’t cure the skin or kill the virus, but ease the symptoms in some more serious cases of cold sore. Some gels and ointments like e.g. benzocaine, lidocaine and dibucaine also reduce the pain caused by strong HSV-1 infections.
How to prevent cold sores
If you are one of the few lucky people who have never experienced a cold sore, do your best to protect yourself from HSV-1. Remember that once it enters your body, it is incurable and will keep you bad company forever. Below you can find some advice on how to stay clear of the virus.
Avoid Contact with HSV-positive People
If you decide to follow this piece of advice to the dot, you will have to stay away from almost 80% of the population. This is how many of us carry the HSV-1. Luckily, this virus is contagious only during the short outbreak periods. When you see a person with a cold sore, try not to approach him or her too closely. Avoid all kinds of physical contact, including a hand shake. The virus can be very easily transferred from one hand to another in just a few seconds. Your best bet is be to use a hand sanitizer after the contact with an infected person.
If your partner suffers from cold sores, make sure you don’t use the same cups, glasses or cutlery. When you notice that your immune system is vulnerable and you think you may fall victim to the virus, it’s better to sleep in separate rooms for a few days, until the blister on the cold sore gets dry and the risk of infection significantly decreases.
Diet and Exercise
Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet and practising regular, light exercise is the best way to boost your immune system and your overall well-being. When you give your body the right amount of nutrients and vitamins, you buy yourself an insurance for many unexpected infections, including cold sore.
When you should see a doctor
In case of recurrent or very painful cold sores you should probably contact your doctor. Regular cold sore heals within 7 days. If the healing process gets prolonged to two weeks and more, you need to take some test that will show why your immune system is not able to deal with the infection.