Cold sores are common types of mouth blisters caused by the herpes simplex virus. Also known as fever blisters, cold sores usually develop around the mouth or inside the lips. The skin of the affected area is typically swollen and sore. The blisters would also break open and clear liquid will ooze out. Most cold sores go away on their own in a week or two.
The herpes simplex virus, which causes cold sores, could enter the body through any small opening in the skin or in the mouth. Cold sores are not airborne but it can be spread when a person touches a cold sore; sharing utensils with an infected person can also result in getting the virus. Apart from the mouth, cold sores may also spread to other parts of the body.
Symptoms of Cold Sores
Typical symptoms of cold sores will include soreness and pain around the lips and mouth, fever, sore throat, and even swollen lymph nodes in the neck. Once the blisters appear, they will break open and scabs will form over the wound.
Natural Ways to Heal Cold Sores
Cold sores can be treated in many ways. The fastest way is to buy over-the-counter or prescription cream or anti-viral therapy to help minimize the chance of sores spreading to various parts of the body. On the other hand, if you want to take a more natural approach to treating cold sores, consider these remedies:
Milk is not only great for building strong bones and muscles; it’s also a great all-natural treatment for cold sores. Just get one cotton ball and soak it in fresh whole milk. Dip the cotton ball in milk and apply to the affected area for several days or until you see improvement in your condition.
Milk is rich in immunoglobulin and l-lysine amino acids — two compounds known to speed up healing from cold sores and neutralizing the cold sore virus.
You might know licorice as the sugary treat you love as a child but that won’t do. You’ll need real licorice root and take it topically or internally to heal cold sores. Research shows that licorice contains Glycyrrhizic acid that stops cold sore virus from spreading.
Make an infusion of licorice root tea and use it as your regular mouthwash. Swish the liquid in the mouth for two minutes. Some tests show that using licorice root as mouthwash helps soothe inflammation and hasten the healing time.
Vanilla contains powerful antibacterial properties that kill infection and hasten the healing time from viral infection. Using 100% pure vanilla extract as topical treatment to cold sores helps minimize pain, reduce swelling, and bring down inflammation. Get a Q-tip or a sterile cotton ball and dip it into the vanilla extract. Apply the soaked Q-tip or cotton ball to the affected area three to four times daily.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is renowned for its powerful antiseptic, anti-viral, antibiotic, and antifungal properties; the oil is powerful enough to reduce inflammation, irritation, and swelling. Tea tree oil is particularly effective in healing cold sores, reducing the size of the sores overnight! It works just as great as any over-the-counter cold sore ointment! Dab several drops of tea tree oil on the affected area twice daily.