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Cold Sore Remedy Tips

Mar 20, 2008
While cold sore attacks typically last for 8-10 days, many people have found that they can clear up the unsightly lesions faster using a variety of treatments. With the damage caused by an attack being both mental and physical it really does do us a lot of good to be able to limit the damage caused by them. A cold sore cold sore remedy will fall into one of two broad groups - pharmaceutical or natural - although there are some, like nail varnish remover that are simply 'alternative', and it is worth weighing up the pros and cons of each before discarding any of them.

Cold sores are able to form when the immune system becomes weakened and the virus, which once infected with us remains in the body for life, begins to replicate and move to the skin's surface. Typical cold sore triggers

Stress
Chronic fatigue
Illness
Hormonal changes e.g. menstruation or menopause
Exposure to sunlight

An attack is usually preceded by a tingling sensation in the area that the sore appears, followed by redness and swelling and finally a fluid filled blister that first bursts and then scabs over before healing.

One important thing is to take action as soon as you feel the tingling, as this indicates that the virus is moving out of its dormant state and replicating. One common natural remedy is to treat the area with ice for half an hour or so, which can relieve symptoms and in some cases appears to prevent a cold sore from appearing altogether. It is thought that the ice acts to inhibit the development of the virus as it becomes active, minimizing the impact sore.

There are a number of pharmaceutical remedies, which although are not as effective as the medical community had hoped, do reduce the overall healing time. However, tests have shown the natural remedies are just as effective and many people also complain about side effects. As with all the treatments, these may suit you and they may not; if you are more comfortable using a pharmaceutical remedy and it works for you then by all means use it. Some common treatments are listed below:

o Penciclovir 1% is the active ingredient of Denavir, an FDA approved formula used for reducing the reoccurrence of cold sores.

o Acyclovir 5% is found in Zovirax, another FDA approved treatment that some people have found to be extremely effective in relieving cold sore symptoms if applied early.

o Famciclovir and Valacyclovir are two other commonly used drugs sold by then names Famvir and Valtrex.

o Other drugs specifically designed to ease pain and swelling that are useful are aspirin and ibuprofen.

Other people prefer to use natural remedies to help heal their symptoms. Popular treatments include:

o Lysine is an essential amino acid found in red meat and dairy products. It can be taken as a supplement or applied topically to help speed up recover time.

o Resveratol is found in red grapes and both heals and sooths the lesion.

o Peppermint oil is able to penetrate deep below the surface of the skin and is able to destroy the effects of the virus.

o Propolis is a substance collected by bees to keep their hives germ free. This brown, resinous compound stops virus replication.

o Salves containing lemon balm, a member of the mint family, are common in Europe and although not readily available in the United States, application of a tea made from lemon balm has been shown to demonstrate similar healing effects.
About the Author
If you found this article useful you may like to read more information about cold sore remedy advice at the Cold Sore Treatment Guide.
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