Cold sores are not only ugly, they are also painful. It is said that when Michelle Pfeiffer developed a cold sore during the filming of The Witches of Eastwick, the director did not discontinue filming but continued since it added depth to her character. However, for us mere mortals, cold sores on the face can be extremely annoying. Anyone who develops one wants it gone overnight and also wants to prevent it from recurring. Here are some ways to prevent cold sores in mouth or face.
1. Ice cube
Wrap an ice cube in a clean cloth. Apply this cold compress gently on the cold sore on lips or inside the mouth. The cold reduces swelling and soothes the pain. Next, apply honey to the sore. The antiseptic property of honey prevents the sores from worsening. Honey is also a natural humectant that heals cracked and sensitive lips and skin. To prevent cold sores from recurring, use honey mask regularly.
Zinc strengthens immunity and helps the body fight cold sore causing herpes virus. Deficiency of this important mineral can lead to issues like cold sores. You must take supplements with zinc and also apply creams containing this mineral to reduce pain, burning and redness of cold sores. Many hemorrhoid creams contain zinc or you may apply diaper rash creams which invariably contain zinc. Sunscreen lotions or creams with zinc oxide can also prevent cold sores on face during holiday when one spends time in the sun.
3. Lemon balm oil
If you are wondering whether the sun makes cold sores worse, the answer is that it does. The sun’s rays dry the skin and worsen the pain, irritation and dryness. Lemon oil balm or Melissa officinalis creates a protective coating on the sore and prevents it from worsening. Apply the lemon oil on the sore to heal it rapidly. Avoid sun exposure when using this remedy.
Use bee propolis as a natural cold sores treatment. Propolis is the therapeutic glue like substance created by bees. It is extracted from the tree sap and contains anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. Apply the substance topically on the cold sores in mouth or on the face and also take it internally to heal sores quickly.
This is a painful though effective cold sore treatment that really works. Dab some acetone using clean Q tip on the sores. Acetone reduces inflammation and quickly heals the skin. You can use this effective remedy to prevent cold sores as well. So, the next time you feel a tingly sensation on the skin, apply acetone.
6. Take acidophilus
People with canker or cold sores can benefit greatly from acidophilus, available in powdered form in sachets or even as probiotic drinks. You can also eat plain yogurt to get acidophilus bacterium. If you have painful cold sores in the mouth, take a bit of yogurt and swish it around the mouth for a minute or two. Do not swallow; spit it out. Repeat as often as needed. This simple remedy not only heals the sores quickly; it also prevents new ones by strengthening the body’s natural defense.
7. Boost your intake of vitamin C
Vitamin C can prevent cold sores on holiday when you spend time in the sun. Take up to 1000 mg of ascorbic acid daily to heal existing cold sores and prevent new ones. If you experience loose stools or diarrhea, reduce the intake to 500 mg per day. You can also eat vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables, like radishes.
L-lysine is a natural herpes treatment that can prevent pain and heal cold sores. This is an essential amino acid that eliminates the root cause of cold sores by destroying herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores. L-Lysine cold sore treatment is available for systemic and topical use as well. Suggested dose of L-lysine cold sore treatment is 1000 mg per day three times a day. Carry the medicine in your purse when you go on holidays.
9. Myrrh oil
Cold sores from the sun are not contagious and you can greatly shorten their duration by applying myrrh oil on them. Dab the oil on the sore 2-3 times a day. Always test the oil on small patch of the skin prior to application. This will help you rule out unwanted allergic reactions.
10. Chamomile tea
Brew some chamomile tea and let it cool a bit. Do not drink it; instead swish it around the mouth on the canker sores. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile tea can reduce inflammation, swelling and painful cold sores in the mouth.
11. Tea tree oil and coconut oil
Mix a few drops of tea tree essential oil with a teaspoon of coconut oil. Use this blend on the cold sore to reduce duration of the sore and also stop pain.
12. Oregano oil
The essential oil of oregano can also heal cold sores in mouth or on the face. Dab a bit of diluted oil on the sore. You can also rinse your mouth with this oil. This remedy will stop the pain and prevent new cold sores. To dilute oregano oil, add a few drops of water or coconut oil to the essential oil.
13. Garlic capsules
Garlic or odorless garlic capsules contain more than 200 disease fighting compounds which can prevent viruses like the herpes 1&2, colds and even Candida and fungal growth. It has no known side effects and is safe to use long term. If you are taking blood thinners, then do check with your doctor first before taking garlic pills.
14. Dry body brushing
Brushing the entire body with loofah or a boar bristle brush can eliminate toxins and stimulate the lymph nodes to function properly. Dry brush your skin before taking a bath, for at least 7-10 minutes. Brush upwards towards the heart to stimulate blood circulation. Bathe afterwards, as usual.
15. Dietary and lifestyle changes
Avoiding chocolate and nuts can prevent cold sores. These foods contain amino acid arginine which boosts growth of herpes simplex virus. Instead, eat plenty of alkaline foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and chlorella (an immune boosting alga). Avoid processed, sugary foods like crackers, cookies, cakes and alcoholic and caffeinated drinks. Also eliminate stress through meditation and exercise; stress tends to aggravate your risk of getting cold sores. Daily exercise enhances oxygen in the body that kills canker sore causing pathogens. Parents – do prevent your kids from spending too much time in the sun as this can increase their risk of developing cold sores. One must get plenty of sleep to strengthen the immune system.
Use these 15 easy ways to prevent cold sores and keep them protected from the sun.