Antiviral medications, and certain home or natural remedies can help treat cold sores, and accelerate the healing process. This article dwells on the various topical and oral medications available for treating this viral infection, along with a few effective home remedies.
Cold sores are small, red or brown-colored blisters that are caused by a virus, known as the herpes simplex virus. Cold sores or fever blisters are a type of recurrent and contagious viral infection. The sores or blisters, that more commonly appear on the lips and the mouth, can be quite painful at times. The herpes simplex virus enters the body through the nose and the mouth, and then moves to the sensory nerves, where it can lie dormant for several days to years.
The sores appear due to a reactivation of the virus, and then gradually disappear. They can appear again when the virus is reactivated. So, fever blisters are characterized by a remission period. What exactly reactivates the virus is still not known, but factors, like a cold, fever, exposure to sunlight, stress, an infection, fatigue, a weakened immune system, and a high level of arginine in the body can play an important role in triggering an episode of cold sores.
Getting Rid of Cold Sores
So far, there is no permanent cure for fever blisters. However, it is possible to ensure the rapid healing of the sores by using certain topical and oral antiviral medications. Some simple home and natural remedies can also help treat a mild to moderate outbreak of fever blisters.
The most popular topical medications for fever blisters are, Denavir, Viroxyn, and Zovirax. Apart from these, lysine containing creams and ointments are also available for this condition. Lysine is basically a type of amino acid that can help treat and prevent the development of fever blisters.
Oral Antiviral Medications
Sometimes, one may need the help of oral antiviral medications along with the topical ones, to treat a severe outbreak of fever blisters. For the treatment of severe cold sores, the FDA has approved certain oral antiviral medications, which include, acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir. Again, lysine supplements can also be used, as this essential amino acid can help reduce the recurrences, and accelerate the healing process of the sores or blisters.
The main advantage of using natural remedies is that they usually do not cause any side effects. Moreover, they can prove quite effective in speeding up the healing process of mild to moderate cold sores. The most effective home remedies for this condition are, ice, petroleum jelly, lemon balm, tea bags, and chamomile. Lemon balm is suitable for both external and internal application. A few other herbs that can be used for this purpose are, licorice, aloe vera, echinacea, and neem.
As far as the oral antiviral medications are concerned, one should take them only after consulting a physician. If the sores are not very large, then home remedies, and topical creams and ointment can help treat them. But if they do not heal with the application of topical medications and home remedies, and if you experience eye irritation and fever, then consult a certified physician for proper treatment. At the same time, be sure to control the triggering factors, like stress, fatigue, and exposure to sunlight and cold weather.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice.