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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 September 18, 2020

                          7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                          7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                          Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

                          Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

                          1. Exercise Daily

                          It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

                          If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

                          Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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                          If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

                          2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

                          Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

                          One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

                          This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

                          3. Acknowledge Your Limits

                          Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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                          Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

                          Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

                          4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

                          Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

                          The basic nutritional advice includes:

                          • Eat unprocessed foods
                          • Eat more veggies
                          • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
                          • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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                          Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

                            5. Watch Out for Travel

                            Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

                            This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

                            If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

                            6. Start Slow

                            Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

                            If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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                            7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

                            Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

                            My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

                            If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

                            I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

                            Final Thoughts

                            Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

                            Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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                            Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

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