Why Is Popping A Cold Sore Harmful
Popping a cold sore can lead to a bacterial infection, and it can spread the virus that causes sores. If you pick at the blisters or scab, the cold sore can become infected and eventually the skin may become scarred.
Whats more, the fluid inside the blisters is full of the cold sore virus: herpes simplex virus type 1, or HSV-1. The virus is highly contagious and can easily transfer to other parts of the body and other people. The AAD advises people with HSV-1 who are experiencing an outbreak to avoid intimate contact, kissing and sharing food, beverages and personal items like lip balm or towels. Anyone with an open cold sore should also keep their distance from those with weakened immune systems.
How To Get Rid Of A Cold Sore At Home
At-home cold sore treatment generally involves a combination of home remedies for herpes and over-the-counter antiviral medication. Some at-home cold sore remedies include:
- Applying cold sore ointments such as Docosanol to shorten outbreaks
- Using zinc oxide cream or a lip balm with sunblock to protect your lips
- Applying a cool compress to reduce redness, help remove crusting, and promote healing
- Using over-the-counter products such as pain relievers, creams with lidocaine or benzocaine, or remedies that contain a drying agent
- Drinking plenty of fluids
- Applying topical amino acid supplements such as lysine
- Using propolis, a synthetic beeswax available as a 3% ointment, to shorten the duration of symptoms
- Applying a cream that combines rhubarb and sage, which may be as effective as acyclovir cream
- Reducing stress, since stress can cause or worsen symptoms
- Soothing the skin with aloe vera gel, which contains anti-inflammatory properties
Because there is insufficient evidence to support the use of at-home cold sore remedies, be sure to discuss any treatments with your doctor before use. Additionally, exercise caution when applying new substances to your skin to avoid potential reactions.
Are Cold Sores Contagious
Yes, the virus that causes the cold sore is contagious. Usually, cold sores spread from person to person by close contact, such as kissing, but it can also be contracted by touching objects on which the virus is present such as towels, utensils or razors.
You can infect others from the first tingling sensation or other signs of developing cold sore until it has completely healed. Thus, the common assumption that cold sores are not contagious once they have scabbed over is wrong.
Unfortunately cold sores are contagious even if sores are not visible as you can pass the virus to other people even while it is dormant.
Don’t Miss: Prayers For Healing Of The Sick
Get Help From Your Pharmacist Or Gp
Your pharmacist can help with cold sores by recommending:
- creams to ease pain and irritation
- antiviral creams to speed up healing time
- cold sore patches to protect the skin while it heals
Use antiviral creams as soon as you feel a cold sore coming on. They do not always work after blisters appear.
Your GP might prescribe antiviral tablets if the cold sores are very large, painful or keep coming back.
Our Suggestions For Preventing Cold Sores
A healthy lifestyle can help to keep your immune system in good shape and make cold sores less likely. Avoid any triggers you have identified, and:
- Get enough sleep
- Improve your diet. New research has found that one reason for too many cold sores is lack of selenium. One Brazil nut per day gives a very good dose of selenium.
- If sunlight or sun-beds trigger your outbreaks, use a good quality sun block, especially on the lips It is best to prevent the cold sore from coming out. Once it is there, treatments can only shorten the duration of the cold sore. As well as the general rules above, you might want to try melissa cream see 14 below.
Recommended Reading: The Healing At The Pool Of Bethesda
How Long Will It Take To Heal On Its Own
The time it takes for a cold sore to heal varies from person to person. Generally, cold sores heal within a few days to two weeks without any treatment. If your cold sore lasts longer than 15 days or you have a compromised immune system from cancer treatment or from a medical condition, such as HIV, speak to your doctor.
How Can I Get Rid Of A Cold Sore Fast
Cold sores usually disappear on their own in 515 days. Antiviral medication may speed up the healing process by about 1 day .
Healthcare professionals, including dermatologists, can prescribe oral or topical antiviral medications. If a persons cold sores do not respond, the doctor may recommend IV treatment.
It is best to administer or receive treatment of the first symptom, which may be a tingling or burning sensation.
Recommended Reading: How To Heal Inflamed Prostate
How Do You Prevent Cold Sores
If youre infected with the virus that causes a cold sore, you can prevent an outbreak by avoiding certain triggers. A weak immune system, stress, fatigue, and even exposure to sunlight or wind can trigger an outbreak.
To keep your immune system strong, get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, and eat a balanced diet.
If you tend to have outbreaks after too much sun exposure, wear sunscreen and limit the amount of time you spend in the sun.
If you havent been infected with the virus, avoid skin-to-skin contact with someone who has a cold sore, wash your hands with soap and water after touching a cold sore, and dont share utensils or personal items.
Should A Cold Sore Be Dried Out Or Moistened
Keeping a cold sore moist is recommended. While drying out your fluid-filled blisters can lead to faster healing, it can potentially introduce complications. Cracking, bleeding, infection, and scarring are examples of problems that can be encountered.
The use of active healing agents can shield your fever blisters from dryness and any cracking. Your treatment goal should always be safer healing and not quick fixes.
The Mayo Clinic recommends the following:
Recommended Reading: Cortizone 10 Intensive Healing Eczema Lotion
When To Keep Your Cold Sore Moist
After your cold sore blisters burst, they develop into open sores that dry out and scab. These scabs are just as uncomfortable as the blisters that preceded them!
Vaseline on cold sores acts like chapstick to alleviate that stiff, dry, cracking sensation you hate so much. Its best to apply Vaseline with a Q-Tip to prevent direct skin contact with your sores. Since Vaseline is safe and gentle, you can apply it as frequently as needed to remain comfortable.
Lip balm or a light moisturizer can also be used to moisten your scabbing cold sores, as long as you dont apply too much. Heavy moisturizer can make the scab fall off prematurely and lead to bleeding.
How To Get Rid Of A Cold Sore Scab
Cold sores can be embarrassing at any stage. They can start out looking like a small red mark, and turn into an oozing, unsightly blister. For most people, however, the scabbing stage of a blister is the worst. Not only does it make the area crust over and look dried out, but it can be the most painful. So, are there any practical ways to get rid of a cold sore scab?
Whats important to keep in mind is that the scabbing stage of a cold sore is a good sign of healing. Every stage of a blister has a purpose to its short lifespan.
The scabbing stage protects it from being infected) secondary infection, so do not remove a cold sore scab early A cold sore will heal from the inside out. So, having that protective layer on top can make sure it heals properly.
Still, it doesnt feel or look pleasant to have a crusty scab on your lip, or anywhere around your mouth. It can draw immediate attention to the sore, and cause embarrassment. Thats why you may prefer to cover up a scab with a Compeed patch.
One of the worst parts about a scab around the mouth is that its very tempting to pick or scratch at it. It may even be in such a spot that makes it difficult not to crack when you eat, talk, etc. All of these factors can make the blister worse, and create a longer healing time. Thankfully, there are several ways to help soften and minimize the appearance of a scab.
Read Also: Meniscus Heal On Its Own
What Are Cold Sores
Cold sores, also called herpes or fever blisters, are groups of small, fluid-filled blisters. The blisters are most often gathered in patches on the lip and around the mouth.
Before a cold sore forms, there may be a tingling sensation or stinging pain. A blisters may appear, and after a couple of days, the blister may burst, ooze, crust over for several days and eventually, the cold sore will disappear after several days to two weeks.
Without treatment, the cold sore may last for 7-10 days and up to two weeks. Although there is no cure for the virus that causes cold sores, the pain and severity of the outbreak can be controlled, as can the speed of the healing process.
How To Get Rid Of Cold Sores In 24 Hours
Also known as fever blisters, cold sores are a common viral infection. They look like small blisters that are filled with fluid and on and around your lips. Many times, these blisters form in patches. Once they break, a crust develops over the sore. Fortunately, cold sores usually go away within two to four weeks and dont leave a scar. The most painful cold sores are the ones that show up on the cracks of the cheeks and where the teeth hit the inside of ones lips. They can sometimes be so painful that it brings tears to the eyes.
Many people have reached out to us asking the fastest ways to get rid of a cold sore or if there are any at home remedies that can fix the pain in 24 hours or less.
If two to four weeks seems like a long time or you have an upcoming important event and would like to get rid of your core sore as soon as possible, you may be able to. There are a number of natural home remedies that may get the job done. We recommend you try the following:
Tea Tree Oil
Dab a bit of tea tree oil on a cotton swab and apply it to the sore directly. Be sure to repeat this several times during the day and before you go to bed. Tea tree oil is a great option because it contains anti-viral properties that kill infection that spread bacteria and expedite the healing process.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Contact River Run Dental
Recommended Reading: How To Help Bug Bites Heal Faster
How Can I Keep From Getting Cold Sores
HSV-1 isn’t a big deal. But it’s a good idea to try to keep cold sores as far away as possible. If someone you know has a cold sore:
- Don’t kiss him or her.
- Don’t drink out of the same glass or use the same knife, fork, or spoon.
- Don’t share towels, washcloths, or napkins.
If you’ve had cold sores before, it can be hard to tell what might make them come back. For some kids, too much stress, too much time in the sun, or getting sick can cause cold sores to reappear. Eating well, getting enough rest, and learning how to deal with stress are important things for any kid to do, especially a kid who is likely to get cold sores.
Putting on sunblock lip balm and sunscreen on the face before going out in the sun may help prevent cold sores from reappearing in kids who tend to get them.
How To Treat Cold Sore Pain
DIY remedies arent likely to make a cold sore disappear anyfaster. But there are things you can do to ease the pain while youre waitingimpatiently for it to heal.
Meanwhile, you dont want to inflict these sores on others. Skip the make-out sessions until youve healed and wash your hands often.
While cold sores are annoying in adults, the virus can be life-threatening in a baby, so take care to steer clear, Dr. Beers advises: As much as you might want to see your niece or nephew or grandbaby, please dont shower them with kisses if you have an active cold sore.
You May Like: How To Heal Pimple Scabs Fast
Search For Primary Care Physicians Near You And Schedule Your Next Appointment Today
Cold sores are as commonplace as they are irritating — but often, what we assume is a cold sore might not be one. If you’ve ever had cold sores that didn’t respond to medication designed to treat them, it might be angular cheilitis, a completely different medical condition that looks surprisingly similar.
The good news: It’s usually easy to treat, as long as you have the right diagnosis. Here’s an overview of what you need to know and what signs to look for to help you tell the difference.
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 can speed up the healing of the cold sore.
Read Also: And With His Stripes We Are Healed
What Are Cold Sore Scabs
As you probably know if you’ve already experienced one, cold sores come in five stages and last around seven to twelve days. They often start with a tingling, a blister forms, the blister breaks and scabs, and finally the blister heals. During the scabbing stage, your cold sore blister scabs over for two to three days. Typically, cold sore scabs look yellow and crusty. The first scab may break open, but it should re-heal into a smaller scab. Within a few days of a normal cold sore cycle, your cold sore scab should flake off naturally. Generally, they don’t leave scars.1
Whats The Best Thing To Put On A Cold Sore What Shouldnt You Use On One
While antiviral medication stops the spread of herpes virus in the body, topical ointments and creams can provide pain relief. Apply these directly to the cold sore as directed. Only use creams that are specifically for the lips or facial area.
You can also use lip balm, petroleum jelly, or a lip moisturizer to prevent dryness. In addition, apply a cool or warm compress a few times a day to reduce inflammation and remove crusting.
Dabbing rubbing alcohol on a cold sore can also dry it out and promote healing. But you shouldnt use this product if you experience burning.
Recommended Reading: Best Foods For Bone Healing
Can Cold Sores Be Cured
Between outbreaks, HSV-1 hides inside your nerve cells, so it is never completely cured. After the first infection, the virus lays dormant inside the nerve cells of your face for the rest of your life. Although spontaneous recurrences are possible, a wide variety of internal and external triggers may lead to the virus transforming from dormant state to rapidly increasing number, leading to an outbreak of cold sores. These triggers cannot be generalized as they can differ for everyone, this means that certain events in your life can wake up the virus and lead to a recurrent cold sore outbreak. Knowing what triggers an outbreak for you is an important step to manage your cold sore outbreaks.
Do You Need To See A Doctor For Angular Cheilitis
The treatment for cheilitis depends on the cause. Less severe cases may heal up if you apply petroleum jelly or a thick lip balm to the area. If that doesn’t work, you may need to see a doctor, who might take a swab to better identify the cause. You might be given a different type of topical treatment, a hydrocortisone cream, or an anti-fungal ointment or medication. If the cause is a nutritional deficiency, you may need to take iron-replacement pills or specific vitamins. Allergy medication may be needed if there’s a contact allergen at work.
If you develop sores in the corner of your mouth, don’t worry. Angular cheilitis can typically be treated fairly easily. However, don’t be surprised if it returns — recurrence rates can be as high as 80 percent. Talk to your doctor about what preventative measures you can take to prevent the condition from coming back.
Recommended Reading: Pictures Of Healing Herpes Sores