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Cold Sore Treatment In The Early Stages

Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). The infection is characterized by fluid-filled ulcers that appear on the outside of the lips and around the mouth. You can also find them on the fingers, nose and cheeks. Cold sores may last for a week or more until they crust over completely, making you annoyed and embarrassed. People who have cold sores traditionally let their illness run its course. That may cause pain for days or weeks. However, people now can stop the sores or shorten the time they appears in many safe and effective ways.

The best approach to cold sore treatment is to attack it at the earliest sign of the infection. To do this, you need to have the right medications on hand. Furthermore, you should know what triggers them to decrease the number of outbreaks. Finally, cold sores are highly contagious and can be spread from person to person. Thus, it’s necessary to know how to avoid passing them on to others.

What Causes Cold Sores?

There are many types of the herpes simplex virus. But the virus type 1 HSV1 can cause oral herpes (cold sores) while HSV2 may involve in genital herpes (sores on the genitals). Although HSV can be spread through sexual contact, HSV1 can be passed on through kissing or sharing drinks. If you touch the sore and then contact with another part, you may get a new cold sore. Many babies and children are exposed to the virus due to being kissed or touched the face by an infected adult. Study also shows that most of people with cold sores have the virus in their body before age 5 years.

There is no certain cure for cold sores. Once a person is infected with the infection, the virus still remains in their body. They may stay inactivated and cause no symptoms for months or even years. However, some factors can trigger the virus, making it active again and cause a cold sore.

In some cases, HSV1 could also be to blame for genital herpes. For example, you may get genital herpes by receiving oral sex from a person who is infected with cold sores.

Genital Herpes Caused By HSV2

Genital Herpes Caused By HSV2

How To Attack A Cold Sore In The Early Stages?

To minimize the cold sore outbreaks, doctors recommend patients to treat a cold sore in its earliest stage. Treating a cold sore as soon as it appears helps a small sore to heal quickly. This also helps in stopping the sore in its tracks, so it may never happen at all.

The following are helpful steps to stop a cold sore early and reduce its outbreak.

  1. Know the early signs of the condition

Some patients report that they hate cold sores as they always come without warning. This means they cannot feel a sore coming before it appears on their skin. However, you possibly know this if you pay attention on its early signs.

Most patients say that they experience tingling, itching or burning around the lips for several hours to 1 day before a cold sore appears. And, this is the best time to start your cold sore treatment.

  1. Have the appropriate medications on hand

People who usually have cold sores should keep antiviral medications on hand. That will provide them quick relief at the earliest possible stage.

There are lots of antiviral medications proven to be highly effective in treating cold sores. These medicines can work to stop the virus from reproducing. Besides, they can stop the sore from developing and reduce healing time.

Antiviral medicines are always available from doctor’s prescriptions. They usually come in two different forms and can be widely used to treat cold sores.

  • Oral drugs that are taken by mouth. These include acyclovir, Valtrex and famciclovir. They are more effective if you begin treatment within the first 2 days of the outbreak.
  • Topical creams used to apply directly to the cold sores. For example, Penciclovir (Denavir).

The medications for treating cold sores can be taken or applied as soon as the early symptoms begin. In reality, they work best if used before the cold sore can be seen.

Apply Cream On A Cold Sore

Apply Cream On A Cold Sore

  1. Know what can trigger a cold sore?

Prevention is much better than cure. Thus, you should try to avoid factors that trigger cold sores. This will help keep the symptoms at bay. Moreover, cold sore prevention can help reduce the risk of spreading the virus to other people. In fact, knowing cold sore triggers is an important step to control and manage the condition. Common factors that trigger a cold sore may include:

  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • A weakened immune system
  • Injury to the skin
  • An illness or surgery
  • Certain foods
  • Hormonal changes
  • Sun/ wind exposure

Knowing these above cold sore triggers can be very helpful. If you used to get the virus and now you are exposed to those factors, you should get started on medications right away.

  1. Consider home remedies and OTC products

Natural remedies and OTC products used for cold sore treatment may help with healing and appearance.

  • Common useful home remedies are: alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, cold packs, ice, Aloe Vera and Listerine. These remedies can reduce pain and irritation. Also, they can help speed up the healing process.
  • OTC cold sore products that contain antibacterial and antiviral agents can manage the pain effectively. Besides, they can help with discomfort and they are completely safe for children. One of the best OTC cold sore medications in the market right now is Prosurx. Experts found Prosurx could treat both HSV1 and HSV2. Not only does it attack the herpes virus but it also helps to prevent further outbreaks. The drug starts working on day 1 right after you apply it. And, most patients report of seeing pain and sores disappearing within days.

How To Avoid Spreading A Cold Sore?

Cold sores are highly contagious. To avoid spreading the virus, you should:

  • Avoid touching or scratching a cold sore
  • Avoid sharing personal items like towels, cups, lip products and toothpaste
  • Wash hands frequently, especially after contacting with the infected area
  • If you have cold sores, avoid skin- to- skin contact with others
Avoid Kissing Your Child

Avoid Kissing Your Child

Cold sores may go away on their own, but the virus never goes away and cannot be cured. In most cases, you can get a complete recovery from a cold sore without treatment. But sometimes, you need to use antivirals to reduce outbreaks and prevent the spreading. If untreated, cold sores can develop complications like eye infections and eczema herpeticum. Thus, consider which treatment is suitable for you to get rid of cold sores fast and effectively.

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