Ahh, cold sores—they’re unsightly, painful, and annoying. They’re so unwelcome, yet they like to appear in the most inconvenient times. So, when one pops up on your mouth or lip, you want to know treatments that can help heal cold sores fast.
6 Treatments That Can Help Heal Cold Sores Fast
This article shares the basics of cold sores and various treatment options to help deal with them quickly.
Understanding Cold Sores
Cold sores, also known as fever blisters or oral herpes, are lesions that develop from the HSV virus. And according to Luminance RED, this can happen when you share personal items such as lip balm or kiss someone who has the virus.
The virus can remain inactive and doesn’t leave the body. Then, it reactivates at times and causes an outbreak. People can have different symptoms than what they had the first time they had an outbreak. In most cases, you’ll experience an itching, stinging, and burning sensation on your mouth and lips one to two days before the cold sore appears.
Other symptoms include:
- Sore throat
- Pain when swallowing
Treatments For Cold Sores
1. Laser Light Treatment
Laser light therapy is a relatively new technological treatment for cold sores. Using red light therapy may help reduce the pain and accelerate the healing of cold sores without adverse reactions. A study revealed that low-level light therapy could reduce the healing time of cold sores by 48 hours. It’s also said to help reduce flare-ups. Overall, experts believe that light therapy can stimulate your immune response, which results in faster healing.
You can have in-office treatments or buy your red light therapy device. You can apply the light device to the area of your cold sores for three to five minutes, three times a day, to shorten your healing time and defend against future breakouts.
2. OTC And Prescription Medications
Those prone to having cold sore outbreaks know the relief that OTC medications offer. These creams and ointments can be purchased without a prescription and applied directly to the cold sore to provide pain relief and faster healing. They can also be used when you first notice a burning or tingling sensation on your lips or mouth. Some OTC treatments include Docosanol, Zilactin, and Lysine lip balms.
Other than OTC topical cream, there are also various powerful prescription antiviral medications to help deal with cold sores. Talk to your doctor and ask which of these antiviral medications is good for you:
- Valacyclovir (tablet)
- Penciclovir (cream)
- Acyclovir (topical cream or oral form)
- Famciclovir (oral medication)
Experts suggest that you use these medications as soon as you see or feel the first sign of a cold sore to prevent breakout or speed up the healing cycle.
3. Apply A Cold Compress
You can cool off the area if you start to feel the warning burning sensation and tingles. You can apply an ice cube on and off the skin for 30 minutes. A cold compress can help in speeding up the healing process. It also helps in reducing the pain and inflammation associated with cold sore outbreaks.
You can also try soaking up a cotton pad in cold milk. The cooling effect helps ease pain and discomfort, while the immunoglobulin (virus-fighting antibodies in milk) can speed up the healing of the cold sore.
An age-old cure-all option, saltwater helps heal cold sores due to its mineral content. Saltwater significantly impacts the environment around the virus, so it can’t thrive. It also helps in drying up the cold sore. Consider washing the affected area with saltwater. Then, dry the area gently after washing.
5. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel is an everyday staple in every medicine cabinet and is well-known for its cooling and calming properties. It’s also a natural antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial ingredient that can fight off cold sores. A study revealed that aloe vera could inhibit the growth of the HSV1 virus, which helps heal and prevents future outbreaks.
6. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is considered one of the most common treatments for cold sores. The antiviral properties of lemon can help in reducing the discoloration, redness, and swelling associated with blisters. Lemon balm can also help dry out a cold sore as an astringent.
It also has antibacterial properties that can help protect your fever blisters from becoming infected with bacteria.
And there you have it! As you can see, there are several ways to ease the discomfort that comes with cold sores. So, if the next time you experience the dreaded lip-tingling, make sure to try out the above tips to help keep your cold sores controlled.