Cold sores are lesions that are filled with pus, and is caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1. Here we will know about getting rid of cold sores on lips.
Also known as fever blisters, cold sores is one of the common medical conditions faced by people. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this infection. Once the virus makes its way into the body, it stays there forever. And when it gets favorable conditions, it causes an outbreak of cold sores, particularly on the conspicuous parts of the body, such as the nose, cheeks, lips, mouth, eyelids and fingers. According to many medical journals, not all who carry this virus experience outbreaks. To add to this, there’s no way with which the outbreak can be prevented.
The common symptoms include painful fluid-filled blisters, reddening of the skin, and tingling sensation which occurs 1 or 2 days before the outbreak. This sensation is better detected by people who have had this infection before. Fortunately, the sores do not remain forever, and resolve on their own within about two weeks. And there is no way to make them go away any sooner. However, with the help of a few medicines and home treatment methods, people can relieve the symptoms, reduce their frequency and shorten the duration.
Medical Treatment for Cold Sores
The standard drugs that help reduce the pain of the sores, and shorten the duration of the infection are:
- Acyclovir (Zovirax)
- Famciclovir (Famvir)
- Valacyclovir (Valtrex)
People can also avail medications that have a numbing effect on the blisters thus, reducing pain and itching.
Self-Care Measures at Home
- Applying cold or warm compresses on the blisters may provide temporary relief.
- Avoid touching the blisters, as it might cause a secondary bacterial infection. To relieve the itching, clean the blisters with a clean cloth soaked in warm water. Remember to squeeze out the excess water. You can use an antibacterial soap if you wish to.
- Alternatively, alcohol or diluted hydrogen peroxide can also be administered to clean the blisters several times a day.
- Cold sores may make the lips dry, and this may tempt people to lick them. However, doing this would only worsen the problem further and thus, the blisters. So instead of licking the lips wet, it is a better idea to use a medical cream whenever you feel any dryness.
- A mixture of salt and toothpaste has been a popular method for treating fever blisters. The salt works to draw the moisture from the blisters, and the toothpaste helps in keeping the salt stuck to the skin. For best results, clean the affected area with warm water and a clean washcloth, and pat the area dry, before using the mixture.
- Exposure to sun can be one worse factor to come across when you are dealing from an outbreak of cold sores. So try to avoid the sun as much as possible, and if you can’t help it, then use sun block creams and ointments for protection.
- Eating lysine rich foods also aids in the treatment of cold sores. Some common items that you can go for include beef, fish, chicken, milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs and fruits such as apples, pears, mangoes, apricot, etc.
It may not be possible to prevent the outbreak of cold sores, but keeping the infection from spreading to other parts of the body, and to others, sure is. Avoid direct contact with other people, and sharing personal items. Always clean your hands before and after touching any blisters for treating them, and lessen touching your mouth parts, genitals and eyes. Avoid triggers such as sun exposure, infections such as cold and flu, dry and chapped lips, and more importantly get enough sleep to help your body reduce stress and heal faster.