Cold sores can be unsightly, uncomfortable, and unwelcome. The herpes simplex virus causes them, a contagious virus over half of U.S. adults are thought to have. While there is no way to get rid of the virus once you have it, there areways to treat the resultant cold sores. Here are a few of the most popular methods that may be worth trying.
Cold Sore Laser Treatment
In previous years, laser treatments were only available at your local healthcare clinics and could cost a fortune to receive. As healthcare has advanced, the same technology used in those lasers has been replicated in small home-use products, often with similar benefits.
Take Luminance RED, for example. This laser treatment product uses wavelengths from LED lighting to stimulate a skin immune response. You may be able to accelerate the healing process for cold sores, reduce the amount of pain you’re experiencing, and decrease the frequency of future outbreaks.
If you’re not quite ready to use technology to take care of blemishes, there are plenty of home remedies that may be worth trying. Not all of these methods may work for you, but they can be worth trying out of curiosity.
Some people swear by cold, damp washcloths over the affected area, while others rely on cold compresses or ice to alleviate pain and discomfort. Pain relievers and petroleum jelly may also assist in reducing cold sore inflammation and discomfort.
The herpes simplex virus can be passed on through sharing toothbrushes, makeup, lip balm, food, beverages, and even towels. Once you’ve got it, you may not know you do until a cold sore begins to form weeks, months, or years later.
Once you start getting cold sores, you may come to understand your triggers, such as stress, and put steps in place to avoid them. However, if you’ve noticed a change in frequency or increased discomfort, prescription medication may be worth considering. Antiviral medication can’t eliminate the virus, but it may be able to speed up the healing process and eliminate some of the side effects of a cold sore outbreak.
Ointments and Creams
Most of the available over-the-counter creams and ointments are not designed to get rid of cold sores altogether. Instead, they are meant to control the pain you experience while you have them. However, some topical creams may promote faster healing if they contain benzyl alcohol or docosanol.
If you’re not sure which cream is right for you, talk to your doctor. They can point you in the direction of something that may be able to make you more comfortable while you heal.
How to Prevent Cold Sores
As previously mentioned, there is no way to avoid getting cold sores once you have become infected with the herpes simplex virus. However, given that cold sores can form with triggers, there may be a way to reduce their frequency.
Some of the most common triggers are stress, illness such as colds and fevers, sunlight, weakened immunity, and menstruation. You may not be able to eliminate all of these triggers, such as menstruation, but some remain within your control. Identify your triggers and adjust your lifestyle accordingly.
Cold sores may not be something you can avoid, but you may be able to control how you manage them. Be proactive with trying new treatment options to find what works the best for you.