Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are a common viral infection in people. These are groups of small blisters that appear on the lip and around the mouth. Because they are itchy and painful, they make a person more conscious or distraught, that his activities of daily living may be affected. The following are the causes, signs and symptoms, and home remedies for cold sores.
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus or HSV. According to Medical News Today, herpes simplex type 1 or HSV-1is the most frequent cause of mouth sores while herpes simplex type 2 or HSV-2 may also be the cause if the person had oral sex with a person who has genital herpes. As per Web MD, HSV-1 can be acquired from contact with an infected person’s skin or body fluid. The virus invades the skin as it reproduces and it leaves sores that persist for about a week. Since the virus goes inside nerve cells, cure is not complete.
Signs and Symptoms
Cold sores present a number of symptoms. According to NHS UK, the symptoms in children include sore throat and swollen glands, overproduction of saliva, fever, dehydration, nausea, headaches, and herpes simplex gingivostomatitis or swollen and irritated gums. In adults, the disease is manifested by sore throat with or without swollen glands, halitosis or bad breath, as well as painful sores in and around the mouth.
While medical management for cold sores includes antiviral creams and tablets, as well as cold sore patches, home remedies are also accessible to relieve the condition.
One remedy for cold sores is lemon balm. According to Health Line, it is part of the mint family and it helps manage cold sores by promoting faster healing and preventing recurrence of the disease. As per the publication, most studies recommend using a lip balm with a least one percent of lemon balm. In addition, the person may also use a compress made of lemon balm tea or infusion.
Vanilla is another remedy for cold sores. According to Everyday Roots, pure vanilla extract is alcohol-based, so it combats the virus, making it for the microorganism to survive. Aside from eliminating the virus, vanilla also relieves the condition by reducing its severity and length of outbreak. As per the publication, the person will need a cotton swab or pad and pure vanilla extract. To prepare, he soaks cotton pad or swab in vanilla and then applies it directly to a sore. Then, the swab or pad is held in place for a minute. The remedy is done four times a day, until the symptoms resolve.
Another remedy for cold sores is probiotics. According to Dr. Axe’s official website, probiotics, which can be found in various food selections, serves as immune system boosters that help combat the herpes simplex virus. As per the publication, food choices that are rich in probiotics include kimchi, natto, sauerkruat, apple cider vinegar, and yogurt. Along with the food choices, vegetables also contain a vast pool of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, which aid fight the microorganism. This way, the body will not only be protected from herpes simplex virus, but from other types of diseases too.
Cold sores stand as viral infection that involves the lip and mouth. Caused by the herpes simplex virus, it is painful and itchy that it can affect a person’s daily activities. It can be managed by home remedies and health consult is essential for proper assessment, goal-setting, intervention, education, and evaluation.