Cold sores are caused by the simplex herpes virus (HPV) and are very common amongst adults. Although they are common and more treatments are becoming available, they are still extremely frustrating and annoying to deal with. Typically, cold sores appear around the mouth and nose and can blister and become painful. They not only hurt, but they can lower self-esteem and contribute to confidence issues. However, don’t fret! There are a few things you can do to lessen their severity, reduce pain and combat their development.
Tea tree is known for having antibacterial properties and can help prevent the bacteria in your cold sore from spreading, which can lead to infection. As well as this, it can help soothe swelling and redness whilst providing mild pain relief. Amongst its benefits for cold sores, this formula is also perfect for chapped lips and protects them from the sun, harsh wind and cold.
Ice cannot get rid of your cold sores, however, it's a great way to reduce inflammation and help with pain relief. Grab yourself a cold pack (a bag of frozen pea’s will suffice) and apply directly to your cold sores. Leave for as long as you can handle, and you should be seeing some of the swelling go down. You can do this as often as you like, but make sure to keep the cold sore moisturised and clean the icepack when you’re finished using it.
When you have a cold sore outbreak, it can be due to a number of reasons. However, excessive stress can contribute to their frequency. If you’re living a highly stressful life or you’re going through a period of significant stress, you might find that your cold sores flare up during this time. The immune system is responsible for fighting off your cold sores and when you’re stressed, the immune system isn’t as strong as usual. So, just relaxing can help prevent cold sores!
Know Your Triggers
Try take note on when your cold sores come back. You may be able to prevent cold sore outbreaks by figuring out what exactly it is that triggers them. Common triggers include stress, harsh sun and wind exposure, lack of sleep, weak immune system, certain foods and hormonal changes. If you find that you have cold sore outbreaks after you do certain activities or eat certain foods, try cutting them out and seeing what happens!
It’s extremely tempting to touch and pick at the cold sore, especially when it's dry and scabbing. Try resist all urges! Keep it moisturised and keep yourself occupied. By touching and picking at it, you can spread the bacteria, extend its healing time and can even spread the virus to other people or different areas of your body. Let the cold sore heal itself; your body is doing the fighting from the inside!
Cold sores typically last about 1-2 weeks before they heal. But, with these tips, you can help lessen their severity and help make them a little more bearable!