Discover how to get rid of cold sores.
The cold sore is caused by herpes Simplex 1 . It is estimated that one in three French people regularly suffers from cold sores and that 65% of the population are carriers of the HSV1 virus (herpes labialis), a virus that remains in the body for life.
It infects nerve cells in the affected area and lodges in the lymph node for quite a long time. Depending on certain factors such as stress, the virus reactivates, multiplies, and crosses the nerve fibers to the surface of the skin. Assessment: a lesion, the cold sore, appears.
The cold sore looks like a small clump of yellowish blisters located at the outer edge of a lip or nostril. It burns a little, itches a lot, and oozes before crusting over and disappearing after 7 to 10 days. Be careful, cold sores are very contagious: avoid close relationships with other people if you have one.
If it is not possible to get rid of herpes, it is possible to limit the discomfort and reduce the duration of attacks most generally through self-medication. In the management of cold sores, precocity is essential.
As soon as the first signs appear, generally 24 hours before the blisters appear (itching, tingling, etc.), action should be taken to reduce the flare-up, reduce its intensity and relieve it. Do not hesitate to consult your doctor in front of any sign of superinfection.
In pharmacies, there are many local treatments based on antivirals such as aciclovir (Activir®) or docosanol, available without a prescription, to quickly treat cold sores.
They block the virus;
Prevent it from multiplying ;
Decrease the duration of the herpes outbreak.
These treatments are all the more effective if they are applied from the first tingling.
Film-forming patches and gels are also marketed to help promote the healing of cold sores.
How do they work? They form a film on the surface of the button that isolates the lesion, and they reduce the risk of contamination.
When outbreaks are recurrent (more than 6 per year), prolonged antiviral treatment ( aciclovir or valaciclovir ) orally may be prescribed to prevent recurrences.
To speed up recovery from a cold sore outbreak, consider homeopathy. If the effects are a little slower than with local treatments, homeopathy helps to shorten flare-ups provided that it is taken at the first symptoms.
Rhus Toxicodendron 5 CH, Mercurius solubilis 5 CH and Graphites 5 CH are among the homeopathic treatments used. To be taken at the rate of 3 granules after each meal until the cold sore disappears.
Honey and propolis are known for their antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Studies have proven the positive effects of propolis against cold sores. Among other things, it would dry up the cold sore.
Sources: Chemical composition of Propolis Extract ACF® and activity against herpes simplex virus. Propolis: A Wonder Bees Product and Its Pharmacological Potentials
A 2001 study highlighted the effects of tea trees against the cold sore virus. Its anti-infective and healing action would help get rid of cold sores more quickly. How to apply it? Apply a drop or two of tea tree essential oil to the itchy area.
Source: Melaleuca alternifolia(tea tree) oil gel (6%) for the treatment of recurrent herpes labialis – CFCarson et al. – J. Antimicrobial. Chemother. (2001) 48 (3):450-451. ( abstract available online )
Among the grandmother’s remedies to treat cold sores is apple cider vinegar.
The right dosage? Generously dab the infected area several times a day and until the cold sore disappears with cider vinegar, preferably organic. Leave to dry without wiping.
Remedy extracted from 220 grandmother’s remedies by Xavier Gruffat, Favre Editions
It is not recommended to camouflage the cold sore directly under makeup at the risk of seeing it multiply. Also, full-coverage lipsticks and foundations won’t camouflage the pimple; on the contrary, they may accentuate its relief and you risk contaminating the lipstick stick.
However, some special cold sore patches allow make-up to be applied provided that the patch is well applied to the lesion so that the make-up does not touch it.
No question of stopping the treatment at any time. For the pimple to disappear completely, it is important to continue the treatment until the appearance of scabs, a sign of healing. Generally, the pimple disappears after 4 to 10 days.
For the pimple to disappear quickly, it is necessary to apply the treatment in time but also not to perform certain actions such as:
Tear off the crust ;
Disinfect the cold sore with alcoholic toiletries ;
Use covering makeup directly on the cold sore;