Although the first infection of cold sores typically occurs in childhood, there are other risk factors such as hormonal changes, severe sun exposure, fever, and even stress that could lead to the appearance of cold sores even in adults for the very first time.
Unfortunately, this condition has no cure, so once you get it, the only thing you can do is deal with its symptoms as best you can. The so-called labial herpes usually goes through several stages; the first one begins with a tingling, itching, or even burning in the area a day before the blister comes out. Small fluid-filled blisters will appear in the affected area. Eventually, these blisters will burst and ooze, only to form a small scab later on.
Once the cold sore appears, it’s common to have symptoms for a couple of weeks. Antiviral medication such as Acyclovir can help the cold sore heal faster, but other natural remedies could help reduce the burning sensation, inflammation, and tingling as well.
It’s not unheard of for this infection to exhibit no symptoms and this is why many people do not know that they are the carriers of the virus. After the first infection, the virus remains in the body and can reappear randomly, especially during periods of stress, lower immunity, or harsh temperature changes.
Although it’s not normally a serious disease, in some cases there may be some complications that can have serious consequences. For example, in immunosuppressed patients due to HIV infection or other conditions, the herpes virus can lead to more frequent and more severe outbreaks. Neonatal herpes can also be more serious, especially when a newborn gets infected by being exposed to the virus during childbirth. Although rare, these cases can cause permanent neurological disabilities and even death.
Treatment and Prevention of Cold Sores
The treatment for the cold sore virus focuses on the treatment of its symptoms; the goal is to cure the fever and prevent its increase. As mentioned, antiviral medications such as Acyclovir, often applied in the form of an ointment, are commonly used.
Preventing type I herpes (cold sore) is not so easy as the infected person often doesn’t know that they are infected in the first place. Contagion is maximized at the time of outbreaks, so in those times it’s advisable to avoid all direct or indirect oral contact (sharing a glass or other objects) as well as oral intercourse.
A person who has contracted this virus cannot be infected again, but they can contract the herpes virus type II (genital herpes), so protection is still necessary. The correct use of condoms reduces the risk of contracting herpes type II, although it does not eliminate it.
Natural Remedies for Cold Sores
The first thing you have to do is wash your hands well if you plan to touch the affected area to avoid contamination and spreading the virus. Then clean and disinfect the herpes-affected skin before proceeding with the application of available natural remedies.
The most popular natural treatments for cold sores include:
- Salt and water
- Aloe Vera
Garlic has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the swelling of the lips and the pain that this condition causes. Additionally, it has antiviral benefits that prevent the virus from progressing further. To use it, you only have to split a clove in half and rub it on the blister for 1 minute. It can also be crushed, like a paste, and left to act.
Milk contains substances such as lysine that help eliminate the virus. To apply it, you just have to soak a cotton ball in it and rub it on the blister. Another effective remedy is to apply some yogurt mixed with salt as a mask on the lips for a couple of minutes.
Salt is one of the most used home remedies to cure cold sores due to its healing power. To make use of this, you just have to put a tablespoon on the affected area for 2 minutes. Then, with a cotton pad soaked in hot water, press your lips, and clean the area. Although this alternative tends to burn a lot, it’s a very effective solution.
Honey has been used for centuries to treat infections thanks to its great antiseptic properties and has survived to this day as a remedy to treat the cold sore virus. Simply apply some honey on the affected area.
Does Aloe Vera Help Cold Sores?
When it comes to the natural remedies that could alleviate the symptoms of infections, nothing can beat the power of Aloe Vera for cold sores.
Aloe Vera gel has many soothing properties for the skin. Therefore, it helps dry out and heal the herpes wound. It will also relieve the stinging or burning. You just have to mix it with some water, until you get a creamy texture. Then, apply the mixture on the blister and leave for a couple of minutes.
Another alternative is to mix aloe vera with tomatoes. Together, these ingredients help heal and soothe the infection. Both procedures can be repeated twice a day until herpes heals completely.
Essentially, Aloe Vera will rehydrate the skin, as it has an anti-inflammatory and softening effect; it’s also an excellent cell regenerator.
Of course, these days it’s easy enough to find commercial Aloe Vera gels, powders, and supplements that can be used both topically and orally for better skincare results and strengthened immune system if you don’t have an Aloe Vera plant at home.
Is It Safe to Put Aloe Vera on Your Lips?
It most certainly is! Pure Aloe Vera gel is known to be one of the main ingredients for products treating sensitive skin areas such as the lips and the under eyes. After all, the Aloe Vera plant has great skin healing benefits when it comes to facilitating the recovery of burns, wounds, and skin dryness, which proves to be rather beneficial for chapped lips or lips affected by cold sores. Even though more research has to be made on the Aloe Vera cold sore topic, a great number of people have reported its effectiveness on the matter.
Aloe Vera has shown several benefits when used on the lips, regardless of whether they’re chapped or otherwise irritated:
- It retains moisture thus reducing dryness
- Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties it fights away irritation
- Aloe Vera charges the lips with antioxidants that minimize skin damage
The issue with cold sores (type I herpes) often lies with the body’s inability to fight against free radicals and other external influences that could potentially mess up the inner balance and the immune system. This is why consuming Aloe Vera orally, together with its topical use, can make a huge difference for the user’s overall well-being. We at A.M.P. Floracel are proud to show our AMP Supplement line of products that feature the very valuable Aloe Mucilaginous Polysaccharide (AMP) particle responsible for the ideal consumption of the plant’s health benefits.
A.M.P. Floracel’s natural supplements conduct an array of detrimental processes in the body, from an immune system boost and restoring the balance in the digestive tract to reducing all sorts of inflamed and infected areas in and on the body, including the symptoms of a cold sore. Feel free to get in touch with us if you want to acquire more details about how Aloe Vera helps cold sores as well as its other health benefits.