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How to Get Rid of a Cold Sore: 13 Simple Ways You Should Try

How to Get Rid of a Cold Sore: 13 Simple Ways You Should Try

You get that tingling feeling and you know what is in store. You find yourself making excuses not to go out and you become somewhat of a recluse. You are afraid to have people staring at your unsightly blemish; your dreaded fiend the cold sore. But do not despair; there are ways you can make your cold sore disappear in no time. Here are 13 ways that will help you get rid of a cold sore fast.

What causes a cold sore?

Cold sores are a result of the herpes simplex virus. This attaches itself to the nervous system and is difficult to control. Once you have the virus you are constantly at risk of developing a cold sore. The virus causes cold sores to be in the background always waiting to be reactivated so prevention can be just as important as treatment. Some things that cold sore triggers are:

  • Fever
  • Infection, colds and flu
  • Ultraviolet radiation, such as a sunburn
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in the immune system
  • Food allergies
  • Trauma
  • Menstruation
  • Dental work

Knowing what triggers a cold sore can help you prevent or treat it just when it is emerging. Often, however, the development of a cold sore can be inevitable so here are tips that will help you get rid of a cold sore fast.

How To Get Rid Of A Cold Sore Fast

1. Zinc

    Zinc will help to boost your immune system. As cold sores may be triggered by stress you can try sucking on zinc lozenges during stressful times. You may also like to apply zinc oxide cream to your cold sore. It has been found that when people used zinc oxide cream their cold sores healed faster and people experienced less side effects than those who applied a placebo cream [1]. Zinc is a trace mineral that is also available through foods such as beef, port, shellfish, peanuts, and legumes. Zinc, however can interact with certain antibiotics and drugs and can be dangerous when taken in high doses so it is recommended that you consult with your doctor when using zinc.

    2. Lysine

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      Lysine is an amino acid that is found in the protein of foods such as cheese, yogurt, meat, milk and beans. Lysine has been found to reduce the number of recurring outbreaks of cold sores and it also helps to reduce the length of time that a cold sore lasts. You can take lysine supplements or eat food that is high in lysine such as chicken, fish, eggs and potatoes. Lysine, however should be taken with care as high levels can increase the amount of calcium absorbed by the body. Individuals with high cholesterol should consult a doctor before taking Lysine.

      3. Ice

        If you ice a cold sore when you first feel it forming, you may reduce the time it stays around. Ice packs and cold compresses will also help relieve the pain. Alternatively, you can buy yourself a very cold drink and this can also help elevate the pain while helping the sore disappear quickly [2].

        4. Milk

          Milk contains proteins known as immunoglobulins. These proteins are essentially anti-bodies that help to fight against and prevent viruses like herpes. It also contains l-lysine. [3] Placing a whole milk compress on your cold sore can help it heal faster and can also help minimize the pain. You can prevent outbreaks by drinking whole milk as this will help you get a dose of l-lysine. If you already have a cold sore you can soak a cotton ball in approximately 1 tablespoon of milk and apply it to the cold sore for several minutes.

          5. Hydrogen Peroxide

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            Hydrogen peroxide can help speed up the rate at which the cold sore heals. As a disinfectant, it also makes it harder for the cold sore to spread or worsen. As the sore is already infected by the virus, keeping it clean can help it heal faster. To use hydrogen peroxide, soak a cotton ball in 1 tablespoon of the peroxide. Place the cotton ball directly on the sore and hold it there for a few seconds. Rinse it off after approximately 5 minutes.

            6. Bees Wax

              Propolis helps cold sores heal quickly and can also aid in reducing the pain. Bees use the natural resin propolis to build their hives. Propolis is created from the buds of trees, bees wax and other byproducts of the bees. It has been used historically to treat wounds and abscesses. It has been found that in test tubes propolis stops the herpes virus from reproducing.

              7. Petroleum Jelly

                Petroleum jelly contains natural emollients. [4]This helps to soften the skin that is affected by the cold sore. As the jelly is very thick it also helps create a barrier that can stop bacteria from entering the cold sore, thus preventing a bacterial infection. Such an infection makes the cold sore last for a longer period of time. To use petroleum jelly, make sure your hands are clean, then using a finger put a thin coat of jelly directly onto the sore. You can reapply the jelly as many times as you like throughout the day until the cold sore disappears.

                8. Vanilla Extract

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                  Vanilla extract contains potent anti-infection properties and this makes it effective in healing the viral infection that causes the cold sore.  As vanilla is also an anti-inflammatory it can help to reduce cold sore pain. You must use 100% pure vanilla extract for it to be effective. To use take the extract and put a couple of drops onto a cotton swap. Place the swab directly on the cold sore. You can repeat every six hours.

                  9. Apply Sunscreen Even on Your Lips

                    Exposure to light, in particular UV light can cause a cold sore to appear. When you are outside, it will help to apply lip balm with an SPF value no less than 15 to ward off the unwanted sore.

                    10. Licorice

                      Some studies have shown that glycyrhizic acid, an ingredient in licorice root can stop the development of the virus cells that form the cold sore. As licorice root is has anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties it is also useful in reducing unwanted symptoms. To gain benefit from this plant you will need to get licorice powder and make it into a cream. Mix one tablespoon of licorice root powder to ½ teaspoon of fresh water or petroleum jelly. Dab a thin layer of the mixture over the sore and leave for at least several hours.

                      Try one or a few of these remedies and you will be sure to get rid of you cold sore fast.

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                      11. Throw away Your Toothbrush

                        Your toothbrush will carry the cold sore virus, so you should throw away your toothbrush after the blister has formed, and then you should throw away the second toothbrush when the sore has cleaned up. This will vastly reduce the chance of a second outbreak.

                        12. Have More Vitamins E and C

                          Vitamin C will help to get rid of a cold sore as it helps to boost your white blood cell count, and white blood cells defend your body from nasty infections. You can also apply vitamin E topically to the infection to reduce the pain that you are feeling. If you want to try this you can buy vitamin E oil tablets from your local pharmacy.

                          Featured photo credit: Lolostock via shutterstock.com

                          Reference

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                          Jolie Choi

                          Having experienced her own extreme transformation process, Jolie strongly believes that staying healthy takes determined and consistent action.

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                          Last Updated on March 25, 2020

                          How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

                          How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

                          When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

                          So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

                          1. Exercise

                          It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

                          2. Drink in Moderation

                          I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

                          3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

                          Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

                          4. Watch Less Television

                          A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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                          Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

                          5. Eat Less Red Meat

                          Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

                          If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

                          6. Don’t Smoke

                          This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

                          7. Socialize

                          Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

                          8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

                          Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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                          9. Be Optimistic

                          Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

                          10. Own a Pet

                          Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

                          11. Drink Coffee

                          Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

                          12. Eat Less

                          Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

                          13. Meditate

                          Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

                          Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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                          How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

                          14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

                          Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

                          15. Laugh Often

                          Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

                          16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

                          Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

                          17. Cook Your Own Food

                          When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

                          Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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                          18. Eat Mushrooms

                          Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

                          19. Floss

                          Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

                          20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

                          Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

                          Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

                          21. Have Sex

                          Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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                          Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

                          Reference

                          [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
                          [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
                          [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
                          [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
                          [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
                          [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
                          [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
                          [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
                          [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
                          [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
                          [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
                          [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
                          [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
                          [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
                          [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
                          [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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