Cold sores are a type of ulcers or broken skin patches which are mostly observed on the lips. They are also termed as fever blisters. These sores are filled with fluid which usually causes the spread of cold sores to other areas on the body. Cold sores are caused as a result of a viral infection by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). Generally, type 1 of HSV is responsible for causing cold sores.
These fluid-filled sores can be transmitted by one person to another if the infected person comes in physical contact with a healthy person. Activities like kissing, hugging, touching, using the same utensils for eating and drinking etc. can cause the transmission of HSV and thus the spread of cold sores.
One basic difference between cold sores and other types of sores or ulcers is that cold sores are transmitted by contact which means they are contagious in nature. One more thing to know about the virus causing cold sores is that HSV stays in the human body once it enters, in a dormant form and many times without giving out any symptoms. This nature of the virus can to some extent explain the recurrent nature of cold sores.
Cold sores usually heal on their own in a few weeks and do not pose serious health. In spite of this, the appearance of fluid-filled sores is aesthetically not pleasing and might prove to be unappealing while socializing or in day-to-day life. This is the reason many people want to get rid of them as soon as possible.
There can certainly be treated using antiviral drugs or other types of medicines. However imagine you have an important meeting or an important social get together and you have to get rid of the sore, here are some tips. These quick, simple and very effective tips will help you get rid of cold sores overnight.
Following are some tips, which mainly use agents from your kitchen and household that reduce or heal cold sores overnight; let us glance through.
Rub it With Alcohol for A Minute or Two:
Alcohol is known to give the immediate result for cold sores. It is a drying agent, removes the virus, reduces the spread of a virus and also cuts down the spread and transmission of a virus. Rubbing it very gently with alcohol using a small ball of cotton for 1-2 min and leaving it overnight helps in drying off the sore. Repeating the procedure regularly for 1-2 days will prevent the spread of cold sores. Preferably the alcohol should be of 70% concentration or less; a higher concentration might cause excessive dryness or even burning of the skin and thus should be avoided.
Apply Peppermint Oil:
Apply Peppermint Oil: Peppermint oil is oil extract obtained from peppermint plant. It is usually used as a flavoring agent, as fragrance imparting oil and also has a number of health benefits like reducing gas, bloating and improving digestion. With respect to cold sores, peppermint oil acts as an excellent anti-viral agent and it also soothes the sore. Using a small dropper you can put 1-2 drops of peppermint oil on the affected area and leave it overnight for best results.
Before applying the oil preferably clean the sore surface with water. Also if the sore is severe you can try and dilute the peppermint oil in water before application; this will reduce irritation to the sore.
Tea Tree Oil:
Tea Tree Oil: The different types of tea available in the market like green tea, black tea etc. help in reducing the cold sores because of the presence of an agent called tannins. These tannins are known to possess antiviral properties. Simply consumption of these teas helps in reducing the severity of the sore and also helps in reducing the recurrence of cold sores.
For immediate effect, you can either use a tea bag for massaging the cold sore or apply 2-3 drops of tea tree oil on the cold sore surface. When the cold sore comes in direct contact with tannins and antioxidants present in tea tree oil, they heal overnight and magical healing effects are seen.
Extra of Vanilla Herb:
Vanilla Herb: Vanilla extract acts on the same principle as the peppermint oil and tea tree oil. So you just have to take an extract of the vanilla herb and apply 2-3 drops on the affected area. It gives relief as vanilla extract has antiviral properties.
One thing you keep in mind is that the vanilla extract you are using must be natural and original; just any other flavoring essence of vanilla will not help. It must contain natural ingredients.
Alum: Alum is a drying agent and works on a principle similar to alcohol. It basically dries up the fluid in the sore and helps the sore in drying up. Some believe alum also has anti-infective properties.
Calamine Lotion: Calamine lotion contains zinc oxide as an ingredient. Zinc oxide is also an adsorbent which basically dries up the sore. While applying calamine just apply a thick layer of calamine on the cold sore and let it dry. Once dried leave it overnight.
The dried calamine lotion will suck the fluid out of the cold sore and help it in healing. Calamine lotion is also a cooling agent and provides relief.
Toothpaste: Applying toothpaste on the affected sore portion and leaving it overnight for 6 -7 hours provides relief. Basically, toothpaste has calcium carbonate which absorbs the fluid and helps in drying the sore.
Toothpaste is one basic thing very easily available in our homes; just make sure the toothpaste you are using should not be gel based.
Petroleum jelly: Petroleum jelly makes the cold sore soft and moisturizes it; it basically coats the cold sore and prevents it from spreading to other areas. Petroleum jelly coats the broken skin and protects it from exposure to dirt bacteria etc.
which helps in the healing process. While applying the jelly take care that you don’t rub the sore very aggressively and massage gently; so that you don’t rupture the cold sore.
Beeswax: Beeswax also works on the same principle as petroleum jelly. It protects the cold sore from outer environment thus assisting in the healing process. Beeswax is easily available at the stores and has an additional property; it is an antioxidant which further assists in the healing process.
Use of Anti-Viral Topical Cream: Penciclovir Based Cream:
Penciclovir Based Cream: Anti-viral drugs treat the cold sore quickly as they kill the sore causing virus. Use of antiviral creams will reduce the symptoms and severity of the cold sore thus providing tremendous relief. Many anti-viral topical creams are easily available over the counter.
One such example is the penciclovir cream. Other examples are acyclovir cream, docosanol cream etc. If you feel the cold sore is severe, talk to a physician about it.
Chalk Pencil: We all have used the flat chalk pencils for writing on the slate in our childhood days. Who knew they are also beneficial in reducing symptoms of cold sores; strange isn’t it? For reducing symptoms of cold sores,
Wet the slate pencil by dipping in water and apply the softened chalk stick on the sore. Let it dry and leave overnight. You will be amazed by its wonderful effects.
Lemon Based Lip Balm:
Lemon Based Lip Balm: Lemon is a citrus fruit which makes it rich in vitamin C and also rich in antioxidants. Lemon based lip balm has multiple benefits. The antioxidant property helps in healing the cold sore; whereas the waxy lip balm content protects it from external environment thus adding on to the healing effect.
Alternatively, you can also make use of orange oil based lip balm which has similar antioxidant properties as even orange is a citrus fruit.
Crude Sea Salt:
Crude Sea Salt: The exact reason why sea salt can help in the healing of cold sore is not known. It is believed that if you apply a pinch of sea salt on the cold sore for 10-15 min and leave it; later washing it off helps in quick healing of the cold sore. Alternatively, you can also gargle using a solution of salt water.
Simply mix a teaspoon of sea salt in half a glass of lukewarm water and make a solution. Use this solution for gargling; make sure the affected area comes in contact with this salt solution. You must ideally repeat this process about 3-4 times a day to get rid of cold sores within a day.
Use of Peroxide Solution:
Use of Peroxide Solution: Peroxide is an anti-infective agent which when applied on the cold sore gives instant relief. Peroxide should be diluted in water and then applied on the sore using a cotton ball. It also makes the sore alkaline; an alkaline environment kills the virus and therefore prevents the spread of the virus.
The aforementioned remedies are simple ways of quickly getting rid of cold sores. Try these simple remedies and you are sure to get benefit in reducing your fever blisters.