Kiss Cold Sores (Yuck!)
Many people are confused about common cold sores around the mouth and whether all cold sores are caused by the herpes virus. There is a distinction between a cold sore (mild herpes outbreak which are contagious) and canker sore (non-herpes sores that are not contagious). Cold sores occur on the outside of the mouth and canker sores occur inside the mouth and on the gums. Here are 8 simple tips to help you get rid of COLD SORES:
1. Protect Your Lips: If you’re trying to avoid getting cold sores on your lips, its important to give them the protection they need. Harsh sun and dryness are well known triggers. Make sure to use a lip balm that includes SPF 15 or better.
2. Don’t Share: Contact with another person’s cold sores can trigger your own cold sore outbreak, so avoid sharing food, silverware, cups, cosmetics, and towels with others.
3. Reduce Stress: There is a direct connection between high levels of stress and herpes outbreaks. This is because stress creates an overproduction of adrenaline and cortisone which in turn can suppress the body’s immune system. When your immune system isn’t working in full force, you are much more susceptible to cold sores. Do anything that helps you to relax. Some people find a nice walk can reduce their stress levels, others turn to yoga or meditation.
4. Throw out your toothbrush. Throw out your toothbrush as soon as you see the first signs of a cold sore and then replace it again once it has cleared up. A toothbrush is a very big factor in re-infecting yourself with the virus.
5. Hands off. It is easy to fall into the habit of feeling the cold sore because it’s there! Almost subconsciously you touch it or try to peel it away. This only leads to adding bacteria to the problem. Remember the cold sore is highly infectious and you don’t want to spread it to other areas of your body.
6. Hydrogen Peroxide: It disinfects, helps you heal faster and prevents the sore from spreading. Use a cotton ball to dab on the cold sore. Yes, it’s going to sting but only for a few seconds.
7. Peppermint Oil: Peppermint oil contains properties that directly kill virus particles outside of your cells, like the ones on a cold sore. When applied directly to a cold sore, people have found that the sore healed faster than usual-especially when applied at the very first sign of one. Use a Q-tip to apply a good quality peppermint oil directly to the cold sore or to make it a little less “hot” add a carrier oil such as almond or olive oil first.
8. Tea Bags: Black Tea, green, and white teas all contain tannins, which are powerful antivirals and anti-inflammatories. You’ll find the highest levels of tannins in black and green teas, which are also loaded with helpful antioxidants. Just brew up a cup of strong tea and let the tea bag cool off. Then apply it like a compress directly to the cold sore. Drink the tea so you get all the antioxidants in your system as well.