How to Get Rid of Cold Sores Fast
Nothing ruins a photo quite like a cold sore. What’s worst of all is the fact cold sores currently have no cure, so if you’re prone to them, you’re stuck.
You likely know the tell-tale signs by this point. You feel a tingling sensation at the corner of your mouth. Before you know it, you have a full-blown lesion. All you can do at that point is wait for it to heal on its own, which generally takes two to four weeks.
But you may not have that kind of time to wait. When it comes to cold sores and canker sores, you need to find a remedy as quickly as possible. Fortunately, you have some options when it comes to that endeavor.
Why are Cold Sores so Contagious?
Credit: Cleveland Clinic
The reason why cold sores are extremely contagious is due to them being caused by a virus. These can easily spread, especially when a cold sore oozes through blisters and makes contact through other bodily fluids.
This is why you should never share a drink or lip balm with someone prone to cold sores. All it takes is a single exposure to have them for life.
It’s worth noting that many people who contract cold sores rarely, if ever, develop signs or symptoms. But if you’re one of the unlucky people who do develop symptoms, they can be a major pain.
Cold Sore Remedies
As stated previously, there’s no cure for cold sores. However, there are remedies to make cold sores less noticeable and not cause as much discomfort. If you find yourself regularly contending with the outbreaks, it’s worth trying the following.
Over-the-Counter and Medicinal Remedies
You should become a regular presence at your local drug store if you’re susceptible to cold sore outbreaks. There are plenty of over-the-counter remedies to help you look and feel your best when you’re in the middle of an episode.
The key is to find anti-viral medications, particularly those that contain docosanol, lysine, and/or benzyl alcohol. These ingredients drastically reduce the duration by which your cold sore is visible.
In addition to looking awful, cold sores can also cause quite a bit of pain. Make sure you have sufficient acetaminophen and ibuprofen in your house, both of which work wonders for treating any discomfort.
DIY At-Home Remedies
In the event you prefer more natural solutions, you can work some aloe vera over the impacted site. You can even grow it as a houseplant so that you have a completely free source of the material for when a cold sore presents itself.
A natural solution for dealing with the discomfort is to apply an ice cube over the lesion. It won’t make the outbreak last for a shorter duration of time, but it can help ease some of the pain.
That’s why it’s also a good idea to wear sunscreen over the sore spot. You should wear sunscreen any time you go outside regardless, but excessive sunlight exposure can make the spot appear redder than it normally is.
How to Prevent Cold Sores from Forming
To prevent cold sores in the first place, you should avoid triggers that result in an outbreak. Common ones include stress, the flu, or a cold.
You also shouldn’t touch that area. That means avoiding it with a razor at all costs when you need to shave around your face.
However, in some cases, there’s nothing to be done, and you’ll have a cold sore even if you’re completely de-stressed. A little bit of makeup is great for covering up sores, even if you’re a man. If you’re concerned about the frequency by which you have outbreaks, speak with your doctor about other solutions.
Bhargava, Hansa M.D. “How To Get Rid of Cold Sores.” WebMD, 23 Jun. 2020. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/cold-sores-at-home-care
Schaefer, Anna. “The 7 Best Cold Sore Remedies.” Healthline, 13 Apr. 2020. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/cold-sore-remedies