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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 January 25, 2021

                          What Should I Do Today? 30 New Things To Do Today

                          What Should I Do Today? 30 New Things To Do Today

                          It’s always fun to do something new, but often we fall into the trap of spending our weekends the same way.

                          If you’re stuck in the same old routine, it might be time to try something new.

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                          What should I do today? No ideas?

                          Everything listed here is something you can easily do no matter where you live, and even on a tight budget! Try out one of these 30 new things today, you’ll be happy you did.

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                          Try Out These 30 New Things To Do Today

                          1. Visit a suburb in your city that you’ve never been to before, or somewhere you haven’t explored much.
                          2. Learn ten phrases in a new language–what about Japanese, Italian or Portuguese?
                          3. Listen to a genre of music you haven’t tried before–perhaps Jazz, Punk or Blues?
                          4. Have a picnic in your local park complete with a packed lunch and your animal friends.
                          5. Start a daily journal to write your thoughts in.
                          6. Try a new cuisine–what about French, Lebanese or Korean?
                          7. Visit your local library and borrow some books for the weekend.
                          8. Plant some flowers in your garden. If you don’t have one, try an indoor potted plant.
                          9. Visit a local museum or art gallery and view their latest exhibition.
                          10. Learn a new skill–what about sewing, gardening or cooking? You’ll be surprised what you can learn in an afternoon.
                          11. Say hello to a neighbor you don’t usually talk to.
                          12. Make a card for a friend and send it to them with a handwritten note.
                          13. Learn how to cook a new dish for dinner. We all get tired of eating the same thing, why not try making something new?
                          14. Re-read an old favorite book. Don’t leave it gathering dust on your book shelf; get it out and read it all over again.
                          15. Research the culture of a different country online–what about India, Guatemala or Sweden?
                          16. Go for a walk or bicycle ride around your neighborhood.
                          17. Watch a classic film like Casablanca, The Godfather or The Wizard of Oz.
                          18. Make a photo album of a recent holiday you took. Don’t let your memories get lost on your computer hard drive; make a special keepsake album of your trip.
                          19. Visit your local farmers markets and pick out some fresh produce. Farmers markets are full of delicious fresh fruit, veggies and more. Find your local market and take a visit.
                          20. Plan a day trip to somewhere outside your city–it might be the seaside, mountains or another city!
                          21. Check out what community events are running in your area and attend one.
                          22. Make a birthday present for a friend. Handmade gifts are personal and much more special than anything you could buy from a store.
                          23. Attend a play at your local theater. Support your local theater and have a fun night out at the same time.
                          24. Volunteer with your local nature conservation society to plant some trees. Conservation societies are always looking for helping hands; do your bit and plant some trees.
                          25. Be a tourist in your own city and visit all the popular tourist sites you’ve likely never been to (don’t forget your camera!)
                          26. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to recently and have a good long chat.
                          27. Put on your favorite song and dance your heart out. You might be surprised at how much fun you have!
                          28. Invite some friends over for a BBQ. There’s nothing better than an afternoon spent with good friends and good food.
                          29. Try out a new form of exercise like Pilates, tennis or swimming.
                          30. Organize a clothing swap with your friends. You’ll have a great time, and save some cash and the environment all at the same time!

                          Now that you’ve read my list of 30 new things to try today, my question for you is, “what new things will you try today?”

                          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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