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Cold Sore Treatments - How to Pick the Right One

Aug 18, 2007
Cold sore treatments are always of vital interest for those of us who suffer those burning cold sores. There are new treatments coming out all the time. Many claim to be the final answer to your prayers. Some cold sore treatments are worth the money, and some are not.

You be the judge. Take a look at some of the more commonly used cold sore treatments that are popular right now. Please understand these are just my opinions made from personal observations. In no way should this information take the place of your personal health care provider.

Campho-Phenique: Camphorated phenol is the active ingredient, which primarily is a pain reliever and will keep bacterial infection out. There are several formulas now. One contains petroleum jelly to keep the scab soft, which greatly reduces the pain of the scab cracking when you move your lips. This has been around for many years and has been a blessing to millions of folks. One of the oldest treatments used for these sores.

Novitra: A zinc-based salve using zinc sulfate. Zinc has long been known as the healing mineral. Zinc sulfate is a good choice. Zinc sulfate is more readily absorbed into the sore and cells than most forms of zinc. This is not the total answer. But it does help the healing process, dries up the sore and helps kill the virus. A very good product but it is costly. There is no temporary pain relief so it might be best used along with a pain relief product, like mentioned above.

There is another form of zinc that I like - zinc gluconate. This form of zinc is the base of a product called "Zicam". It comes in a gel form that is absorbed in seconds through the mucus membrane of the nose. Works great for head colds and you can put it directly on cold sores at any stage. And, it's about half the price of Novitra. They do not yet market their products as cold sore treatments.

Abreva: The active ingredient is docosanol. Docosanol stops the cold sores from getting any bigger by forming a protective barrier around the healthy cells surrounding the cold sores. Works well in limiting size of the blister if you catch it early. But, by the time the sore blossoms, the damage is already done. A healing cold sore treatment is what you need now. Abreva makers recently paid a million dollars in a court settlement regarding false claims for this product. The studies I've seen show Abreva will shorten the cold sores event by two or three days. I've seen as good or better results just applying ice as a herpes cold sore treatment.

Releev: This treatment is based on the active ingredient benzalkonium chloride. The primary function of this chemical is antiseptic. It will cleanse and dry up cold sores. Seems to work quite well. Makers claim that this cold sore treatment is able to reduce symptoms with just one day of treatment. Maybe it does for some people, but I haven't seen it. Do not use it if you have an allergy to the daisy flower family Do not use if you are pregnant or nursing. Would make me nervous using on kids too. There are better treatments.

Zilactin: A special gel that forms a protective film over the sore. This is actually a very good idea. It also contains a pain-relieving ingredient called "benzyl alcohol" which gives you about three hours of peace. Also contains boric acid and salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is related to aspirin. Salicylic acid normally is irritating to the skin so I question the value here. It could make the sore worse. Also, if you have an aspirin allergy - don't use.

Lysine salves: A variety of cold sore salves available in drug and vitamin stores contain lysine. Lysine has a reputation for preventing cold sores and other forms of herpes sores. Studies show this to be true when taken internally. It helps keep you pH normal. Using lysine placed directly on the sore has not been very successful, from my personal observance. I would much rather see you try the zinc products mentioned above.

New cold sore treatments are coming out all the time. The market is huge for these products, since nearly nine out of ten people in the world carry the cold sore virus. Medical science has yet to solve this problem, but they are working hard at it.

Right now you will find that natural science is still your best solution to the age-old cold sore problem. Natural home remedies still prove to be the safest, cheapest and most effective cold sore treatments.
About the Author
Denny Bodoh is a 35-year dedicated natural health research writer. Get the latest facts on Getting Rid of Cold Sores and amazing cold sore treatments at Denny's popular site: http://www.be-cold-sore-free.com
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