Anyone who has ever had a cold sore knows that they are not only a nuisance, but they can also be very painful. The biggest problem with cold sores is that they always seem to come on at the worst possible time, and once they appear there are very few ways to tackle them besides letting them run their course.
Cold sores can also be called fever blisters, and they are caused by the Herpes Simplex virus. It is estimated that as many as two-thirds of all adults in the world have been exposed to the virus, but not all of them will develop cold sores.
Approximately 30% of those who have contracted the virus will develop cold sores. While the sores typically only last a week, they are still highly contagious and easily spread, so finding a good resolution to curb them is a good idea
There are many cold sore therapy options and pharmaceutical products on the market to help with the symptoms of a cold sore, but not many of them can cure outbreaks altogether. It is a good idea to try natural methods to cure what ails you. If you have a cold sore, here are some natural remedies that can shorten its course and help make its presence less noticeable.
1. Keep your immune system strong
Cold sores surface when your immune system is struggling, so boosting it will help to prevent them. Eating foods that are rich in antioxidants will help keep your immune system to function properly. Other options that can help to prevent cold sores are probiotic foods like apple cider vinegar, yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi.
Getting enough fruits and vegetables is also an excellent way to prevent cold sores, because they are loaded with all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your body needs, to fight against the virus.
2. Up your intake of Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a great way to soothe the irritation that can accompany a cold sore. Rub it directly on the sore itself to help with the discomfort, irritation, and pain that accompanies cold sores. Vitamin E is also an excellent anti-inflammatory that helps to repair the skin.
Eating foods that are high in Vitamin E can both help prevent cold sores and make their appearance less disruptive. Foods that are rich in Vitamin E are things like spinach, avocados, almonds, sweet potatoes, olive oil and sunflower seeds.
3. Get enough Vitamin C
To help increase your white blood cell count, you can increase your intake of Vitamin C. White blood cells are necessary to fight off viruses and bacterias in the body. Take Vitamin C supplements, or eat more foods that contain it, like red peppers, Brussels sprouts, strawberries, kiwi, and grapefruit.
4. Zinc is key
Zinc is essential to reduce inflammation in the body, boost immunity and maintain health. Zinc is a trace mineral found in foods like beef, cashews, chickpeas, turkey, salmon, eggs, mushrooms and chicken.
5. Supplement with L-lysine
L-lysine is an amino acid that you can apply directly on a cold sore, or you can take it orally. It works by decreasing the healing time needed for the virus to run its course, and can keep the virus from spreading. Take 1000-milligram tablets three times a day or eat foods that contain L-lysine like fish, chicken, vegetables, and legumes.
6. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera is a plant that is used to treat skin ailments. It has antioxidant properties and contains hormones, fatty acids, and enzymes, which all work to curb the viral infection. Apply it directly to your cold sore to speed up healing time.
7. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil is a great way to expedite the healing time of a cold sore. It contains a high level of virucidal activity that fights off the Herpes Simplex virus. It is much more effective if you apply it immediately after you feel the onset of a cold sore.
8. Use sunscreen
Exposure to the sun is a huge trigger for cold sores, so applying sunscreen when you will be outdoors is an excellent way to prevent sun-induced cold sores. Use a lip balm that has SPF in it. But don’t try just putting sunscreen on your lips unless you know that the ingredients aren’t toxic.
Cold sores are no fun and can be very difficult to get rid of. Instead of heading to the pharmaceutical aisle, try boosting your immune system, eating the right foods, or taking supplements to keep cold sores at bay.