Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cold Sore Tips for Prevention and Treatment

By David Paule


Cold sores aren't just cosmetically ugly; they hurt too. As anyone who's ever had one can attest, they can be almost overwhelmingly painful. To help you conquer cold sores, we've gathered some cold sore tips to assist you in relieving the pain of a current cold sore outbreak, and to help you prevent new outbreaks down the road.

Let's get started by going over the triggers that cause cold sores.

Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are the result of the Herpes Simplex Virus I (HSV I). Note that this is different from the genital herpes virus.

Up to eighty percent of population has the HSV I virus. Most of those with the virus were exposed to it before reaching seven years of age. There is no way to get rid of this highly contagious and almost universally prevalent virus. Once you have it, it's in your body permanently. Most of the time it is dormant, without causing cold sore symptoms.

When outbreaks occur, the result is painful and unattractive sores around the mouth and lips. These happen when the normally inactive herpes virus is triggered.

Important Cold Sore Tips for Outbreak Prevention

So, how does the normally inactive HSV I virus become activated? There are a variety of triggers, including:

Stress, Weakened immune system, Sickness, Pregnancy, Irritation or injury to the mouth and lips.

Essentially, when the body's natural defenses are weakened, or a person's stress level is too high, cold sores can occur. To prevent Cold Sores, it's important to control the triggers that cause them.

In the case of pregnancy or menstrual-related outbreaks, hormonal triggers can't be controlled. Fortunately, there are ways to strengthen the body's defenses.

There are a variety of supplements and widely available products to prevent cold sores. A healthy diet that bolsters the immune system is vitally important, as is preventing injury or severe chapping of the lips. A good, moisturizing lip balm can calm chapped lips and help minimize the risk of cold sore outbreaks.

Prevention is all well and good, but what do you if you need to relieve symptoms of an outbreak that's already under way?

The following Cold Sore Remedies can help you get relief:

1. Use a topical medication to numb the pain. Examples include "caine" medicines, like lidocaine and benzocaine. You can also use preparations like benzoyl alcohol or a phenol-containing formulation.

2. Apply an antibacterial product to prevent the sores from getting infected.

3. Keep the sores from cracking and bleeding with a good lip moisturizer.

4. Try taking zinc and lysine supplements. These may reduce the duration of a cold sore outbreak. Zinc is also known to boost the immune system.

The surest way to prevent cold sores is by taking care of yourself with a whole-foods diet, exercise, and good supplement program that keeps your immune system strong and healthy. Sleep well, and make sure you learn to deal effectively with stress.

While prevention is really the best Cold Sore Treatment plan, if you do end up with painful cold sores, use these cold sore tips to minimize the associated pain and help get rid of your outbreak sooner.



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