Cold sores are red, fluid-filled blisters that form near the mouth or on other areas of the face. In rare cases, cold sores may appear on the fingers, nose, or inside the mouth. Cold sores or fever blisters are quite common in most people. Cold sores are small and hurting blisters that come up on lips, around nose or in mouth. The most annoying thing about cold sores is that if a person gets infected once, he/she cannot get rid of it permanently. Cold sores have recurring nature and they keep coming back occasionally.
Causes Of Cold Sores
Unlike the name suggests, cold sores are not associated with common cold, flu or fever. They are caused by type I herpes simplex virus (HSV), which are highly contagious in nature. The fluid-filled and unsightly blister gets healed without leaving any scars, but they tend to reappear. Personal skin to skin contact with the infected person causes the virus to spread to other person. Kissing and sharing drinking glasses cause the virus to spread via saliva.
When HSV-1 virus enters a person’s body, it travels through the skin and enters ganglion – a nerve cell group. It may stay dormant in the person’s body without any signs of infection and will wake up now and then to cause the development of these painful blisters. In some people, the virus will be inactive permanently.
Though seem to be harmless, cold sores can be dangerous if the virus infects the eyes resulting in cornel scarring, leading even to blindness. Since the virus cannot be eliminated for ever from a person’s body, the best way to prevent cold sores from coming up is to keep the trigger factors that cause the virus to be active under control.
Some kinds of trigger factors that activate the virus are recurring cold, fever, and exposure to sunlight for longer time, stress, hormone changes and certain type of foods and drugs. There are some effective herbal or natural remedies that can stop the reappearance of cold sores and to heal them if they are already present.
Herbal Remedies To Treat Cold Sores
Placing a moistened tea bag around the place is really effective thanks to tannic acid in tea that has great anti-viral properties.
When the symptoms of cold sores are present, place a cotton pad soaked into alcohol on the area. Secure the pad with a tape and leave it on for few hours. Remember to change the pad when it dries up. This will give instant relief and will prevent cold sores from coming up in full swing.
One of the most familiar home remedy is to place ice cubes on the place where cold sores generally come up immediately when the symptoms are present. When it begins to form, most people feel tingling sensation and pain in the area. Placing ice cubes will numb the area and will give a soothing effect.
Applying petroleum jelly or any other lubricants will help the blisters from cracking and spreading to other parts. Aloe vera can act as a real cooling and soothing agent when applied on sores. Applying Witch Hazel can help a lot in soothing the blisters.
Peppermint oil loaded with antiviral properties can sooth cold sores effectively and will lend a curing effect. Rinsing mouth with freshly squeezed plum juice can help in avoiding cold sores inside the mouth.
Another useful herbal remedy is to rub peeled garlic pods on the infected area. Garlic is enriched with anti-inflammatory properties. Placing a cotton ball soaked in milk around the infected area is also good. Lemon balm extract can speed up the healing process and reduce pain.