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Friday, March 6, 2015

Home Remedy Treatments for Cold Sores

Small, painful, fluid-filled blisters on the mouth or nose, cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. Lasting about 10-14 days, cold sores are very contagious. Triggers can include fever, too much sun, stress, or hormonal changes such as menstruation.


Cold sores can be unsightly. That's the tough reality of these extremely painful blemishes. Still, while you can't do much about the way a cold sore looks, you can do a few things to help decrease discomfort, speed healing, and keep it from coming back. You can even take steps to prevent passing on your cold sore to others. Here are some home remedies:

Lysine
Lysine is an essential amino acid, meaning that we must get it through food or supplements because the body can't make it on its own. It's used to make protein, which we need to produce infection-fighting antibodies, enzymes, hormones, and body tissues. Lysine has been found to inhibit the spread of the herpes simplex virus.

Although we get lysine through food sources such as red meat, milk, eggs, cheese, wheat germ, brewers yeast, and fish, what appears to be most important is the ratio of lysine to another amino acid, arginine. They compete with each other for absorption in the intestines, so the less arginine there is in the diet, the more lysine is absorbed. Foods that are rich in arginine include chocolate, peanuts, and almonds.

In addition to these temporary dietary changes:Lysine supplements (e.g. 1,000 mg taken three times a day) may help to shorten the duration of cold sores.
Foods containing arginine:
  • gelatin
  • nuts
  • chocolate
Foods containing lysine:
  • milk
  • soybeans
  • meat
  • lentils
  • spinach
Lysine ointment - a pilot study by the Southern California University looked at the effectiveness of a lysine-containing ointment in 30 people. Researchers found that the ointment produced full resolution in 40% of participants by the third day and in 87 percent by the end of the sixth day. No adverse effects were reported.

Cover it with a protective petroleum-based product. Covering it with petroleum jelly will speed healing and help protect it from secondary infection with bacteria.
Don't cover it with makeup. Unfortunately, attempting to camouflage a cold sore with makeup often aggravates the problem, as the chemicals in makeup can make the sore worse. And don't share your lipstick or makeup either.
Change your toothbrush. Get a new toothbrush after the blister has formed and again after the attack has cleared up. Toothbrushes can harbor the virus.
Reach for aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen. Cold sores can be quite painful. Over-the-counter painkillers can help.
Avoid salty or acidic foods. Things like potato chips or citrus fruits can further irritate cold sores and add to the pain.