Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. The primary infection of the virus can be the worst with symptoms including fever, sore throat, aches and pains, headache, oral lesions and fatigue. After the primary infection, the virus remains dormant in your nerve cells. Cold sores are a secondary infection that can occur at any time and can be triggered by; stress, menstruation, illness, trauma, exposure to excessive wind or sunlight and fatigue. 60-95% of the worldwide population have the herpes simplex virus, yet not everybody is aware and may never have any symptoms.
But help is here! Below are some of the things that could help avoid or shorten the length of a cold sore outbreak.
- Antiviral medication – the most common being acyclovir. This can be taken in tablet form or topical application. The topical application is most effective if used in the first onset of the cold sore, the tingling sensation.
- Natural medicine – A growing number of studies show possible benefits from lysine, lemon balm, zinc and licorice root. Taking anti-viral herbs like olive leaf, elderberry, lemon balm, oregano, forsythia and honeysuckle as teas or tinctures may help.
- Lemon Balm – use a lip balm containing at least 1 % lemon balm or a compress made of a lemon balm infusion tea.
- Lysine – is available in cream or supplement form.
- Zinc oxide – is available in cream form.
- Licorice root – is available in many forms including, creams, tea, tablet and tincture.
Remember cold sores are highly contagious! Avoid sharing cutlery, drinks, kissing and always wash your hands after touching your cold sore.
Ascot Dental are working on a natural balm to help shorten or stop the outbreak of cold sores.
Get in touch if you are interested.