Tired of researching advice, facts and other miscellaneous information about cold sores every time one starts to appear? Well, stop wasting time by saving this page because this convenient guide will tell you everything you need to know. Here are the all of the details about avoiding the spread of outbreaks to yourself and others, how to stop cold sores in their tracks and how to potentially prevent future outbreaks.
Keeping it Private
Your mother probably taught you to share, but it is doubtful she meant your cold sores. The reality is that the majority of adults are already carriers of the virus that causes outbreaks. However, there is no point in exposing the few who are not affected to the virus unnecessarily or passing a potential cold sore on to someone else. You also do not want to risk spreading the sores to other parts of your body or face. Follow these instructions during your next outbreak to avoid these unhappy events.
- Do not share towels, clothing or utensils and drink containers.
- Wash your hands frequently, especially after touching your face.
- Do not kiss or allow any skin to skin contact near the infected area.
- Do not borrow or lend lip balm or cosmetic products.
- Wash dishes in hot water with a tablespoon of bleach to sterilize.
- Do not share pillows with partners or children.
- Toss out toothbrushes, lipstick and lip balm after an outbreak.
- Sterilize or replace makeup applicators.
- Do not break open the blisters intentionally. Wash your face immediately if the blisters do break.
Stopping the Severity
Most people only want to rid their skin of the blemish as fast as possible once a cold sore appears. There are several ways to make this happen.
- Prescription medications relieve the discomfort and may shorten the outbreak by two or three days.
- OTC creams also shorten the duration of some sores and provide a minimal amount of camouflage to the blisters.
- Applying ice directly to the cold sore can reduce swelling and redness.
- Cold milk compresses may also help to reduce swelling.
- Cold sore inhibitor devices are best when used before the cold sore appears, but they also reduce the lifespan of most sores.
- Aloe Vera gel helps to keep the skin softer and takes aways some of the burning sensation.
Stopping the Outbreak
The best scenario is to not experience a cold sore. This is possible, but the results are never guaranteed. Some people will continue to have outbreaks regardless of how careful they are.
- Eat healthy. A good diet keeps the immune system strong.
- Add more Vitamin C and E to the diet. They improve skin health, increase antioxidants and reduce inflammation.
- Drink milk. The L-lysine in milk fights against the herpes virus.
- Protect the skin from the sun. Use sunscreen and purchase a lip balm with SPF protection.
- Eat zinc-rich foods.
- Use an inhibitor device as soon as the first tingle is noticed.
Be cautious of home “remedies” that promise to eliminate a cold sore in a day or less. Many involve opening the sore, burning the sore and applying caustic chemicals to the area where the blemish is located. All of these methods are painful, can lead to scarring and may cause the spread of the blisters.