Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are a group of small blisters that appear around the mouth. The skin can often look red and swollen. While not life threatening, cold sores can be annoying and sometimes painful. The blisters also may break open and leak a clear fluid, which if it comes in contact with another person, can cause cold sores for someone else. Fortunately, cold sores usually heal anywhere from a few days to two weeks.
Who Can Get Herpes, Cold Sores?
Anyone who comes into contact with someone who has cold sores can contract them from using the same utensils, drinking cups, or other items that have come into contact with the person’s mouth. Often children end up getting cold sores from coming into contact with an infected parent.
Causes of Cold Sores
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. There are two different types of herpes virus and both types can cause mouth sores as well as genital herpes. The herpes virus enters the body by finding a break in the skin around the mouth or inside the mouth.
The symptoms of cold sores can vary, but the first sign is usually a pain around the mouth or lips. Some people can also get a sore throat, fever, or swollen neck glands. Young children will often drool before the appearance of cold sores. And once the blister does appear around the mouth, it usually breaks open with clear fluid leaking from it, and then it crusts over and disappears. This can take anywhere from three days to two weeks.
Some people may also carry the virus without ever having symptoms or developing cold sores.
Alternative Treatments for Herpes
There are many creams and ointments on the market that are made for reducing the pain and redness of your cold sore. Often times, this will make a person feel better, but it will not result in a faster healing time for the cold sore.
There are many natural treatments for cold sores that may help to reduce the amount of pain and the time that is takes to disappear. These different treatments may also lead to less reoccurrences.
Lysine is an amino acid supplement that has been known to reduce the reoccurrence of cold sores by suppressing the herpes virus that causes the sores. To get rid of a cold sore fast, you will want try to deprive yourself of foods that are high in arginine. Examples of foods that you should avoid are chocolate, peanuts, and other types of nuts.
Topical treatments seem to work well in order to get rid of the cold sore faster. Products that contain vitamin E, lemon balm, or zinc sulfate will work to reduce pain and speed the healing process if it is applied several times a day. You can also speed healing internally by taking supplements that contain a high amount of vitamin C and flavonoids.
Medical treatment is not necessary in order to treat cold sores.
While cold sores cannot be cured, there are pills, ointments, or creams that can be applied in order to speed up the process of the cold sore cycle. Most of the time, however, doctors suggest to just leave it alone a let it run its course.