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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

                          More by this author

                          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 September 16, 2019

                          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                          You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                          We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                          The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                          Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                          1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                          Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                          For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                          • (1) Research
                          • (2) Deciding the topic
                          • (3) Creating the outline
                          • (4) Drafting the content
                          • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                          • (6) Revision
                          • (7) etc.

                          Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                          2. Change Your Environment

                          Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                          One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                          3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                          Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                          Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                          My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                          Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                          4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                          If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                          Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                          I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                          5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                          I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                          Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                          As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                          6. Get a Buddy

                          Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                          I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                          7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                          This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                          For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                          8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                          What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                          9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                          If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                          Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                          10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                          Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                          Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                          11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                          At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                          Reality check:

                          I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                          More About Procrastination

                          Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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