Uncomfortable and unsightly, cold sores tend to make almost everyone self conscious about their overall physical appearance which also impacts on one’s self esteem. Cold sores are the swollen blisters that commonly appear on an individual’s lip border. Cold sores are caused by the Type 1 herpes simplex virus that lives within ones nerve roots only to re-emerge in times of emotional or physical distress, particularly when one is fighting a flu or cold.
Although these sores tend to heal on their own within 7 to 10 days, it is worth trying these natural cold sore treatments in order to clear up any eruptions that could cause undue distress and prevent any complications. Cold sore complications occur in people who have various types of immune-suppressions which can make the core to become widespread and more sever. Symptoms of complications arising from untreated cold sores include bacterial infection, the development of pus within the sores and fever. The cold sores may also spread to ones fingers or eyes which are causes for immediate medical attention.
Natural cold sore treatments
Before one begins the search for cold sore treatments, it is important to note that cold sores are usually confused with cankers, which have totally different remedies. Therefore, it is important to know the difference. Cankers are small or large ulcers that tend to develop inside ones mouth whereas cold sores appear outside the mouth, along the lip borders. In addition, one also understands that cold sore development is not only confined to the lip border area, but also around or in ones nostril, fingers or chin. Once this is clarified, the following are the top 5 natural and over the counter cold sore treatments.
Non- prescription cold sore treatment
Zilactin and Betadine
There are various remarkable over the counter medications that can effectively work to relieve the various symptoms of cold sores. The single most noteworthy non prescription cold sore treatment is Zilactin. This is an OTC product that both shortens the duration of old sores, sometimes in half, as well as relieves their symptoms. It works by numbing the area in which the cold sore is located.
Most numbing non prescription remedies contain topical anesthetics such as Lidocaine Ointment or creams containing prilocaine, benzocaine, or tetracaine which all work to stop any soreness. In addition to those mentioned, ointments containing povidone iodine such as Betadine can also be dabbed onto the cold sore to reduce inflammation and other common side effects of cold sores such as itchiness.
Creams of an antiviral nature are also helpful in the treatment of cold sores. Such creams include famiciclovir and acyclovir, which is widely available. They work by ensuring that the virus does not reproduce thus shortening the duration of the cold sores. It is noteworthy that both creams work best when they are applied to the sores during their earliest stages of development. Basic pain medication may also be required depending on one’s discomfort.
The most common side effect of cold sores is the unnerving feeling of unease. This can be alleviated by applying a small amount of petroleum jelly such as Vaseline to the affected area. The jelly not only soothes the discomfort, but also offers some kind of barrier to bacteria that may make their way into the affected area and cause unwanted infections. One should also protect their lips with a balm that contains sun block or zinc oxide cream in order to avoid the excessive drying of the affected area. Excess drying causes cracked sores which may become a point of entry for infection causing bacteria.
A herbal lemon balm or chap stick works by soothing and sealing the affected area. Witch Hazel also works well as a cold sore treatment. It is also the easiest remedy to find as it is locally available in health stores and pharmacies. A simple dab of witch hazel on the cold sore is very effective in the relief of signs of irritation (redness around the cold sore). It has a great drying effect on the cold sore and shortens ones healing time.
Well renowned for its numerous health benefits, aloe vera aids the skins healing process. Dotting ones cold sore with some aloe extract or its sap, for those who can obtain the actual plant, speeds the healing process and eases ones discomfort. For those suffering severe cold sore, the aloe vera sap or extract can be chilled in a refrigerator to obtain a more intense soothing sensation.
Prevention is better than Cure
As noted, cold sores may occur as a result of the reactivation of the Type 1 herpes simplex virus due to either physical or emotional stress. The best way to prevent the development of cold sores is to eat a healthy diet that is rich in vegetables and fresh fruits throughout the year. You may also consider taking a multivitamin supplement just to make sure that you are receiving all nutrients required by the body.
It is also best to avoid foods that are rich in amino acid arginine such as cola, chocolate, beer, gelatin, nuts and grain cereals. One must keep their hands clean and get a new toothbrush once the early signs of cold sores begin. This is because the viruses that cause cold sores can live in ones toothbrush to later re-infect them.
In conclusion, although cold sores heal can naturally heal within a week, it is best to treat them rather than wait and contract infections. Not only are they an eyesore, they can also cause complications that will later cause avoidable anguish. The above mentioned cold sore treatments are the best in such situations and effectively sooth, shorten the healing time of cold sores and prevent the development of other infections.
NB: Owing to the fact that the Type 1 herpes simplex virus is extremely infectious, one should avoid shaking hands or kissing any individual with a cold sore. Yes. This also includes sharing utensils such as cups and spoons, and towels. Also sanitize your hands should you come into contact with a person with a cold sore.
The scalp is a sensitive part of the body that can be affected by various conditions if not well taken care of. Some of the most common and serious scalp conditions are dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and scalp psoriasis. Other less serious conditions include oily scalp and hair and an itchy scalp without scales or crusts.
The presence of dandruff on the scalp will cause shedding of flakes from the head to the clothes or bedding. The condition is caused by too much production of sebum from the scalp. It can be treated by washing the hair every one or two days a week with anti-dandruff shampoo. However, if the condition is severe, one should see a dermatologist to recommend the right treatment.
Another scalp condition is seborrheic dermatitis, which is characterized by a moist scalp that is itchy and inflamed, covered with yellowish crusts. Sometimes it can affect the nose, eyebrows and cheeks. The itchy sensation makes it worse because it leads to scratching which leads to more inflammation. The inflamed areas become vulnerable to infections like yeasts,fungi and bacteria.
Little s known about the cause of sebbhoreic dermatitis and since it is more serious than dandruff, treatment should be sought from a dermatologist. Special shampoos together with other treatments like corticosteroids will be recommended and although the condition can not be cured,it can be managed effectively.
Scalp psoriasis is more serious than seborrheic dermatitis although they almost have similar symptoms. The main difference is that its crusts look a bit dry and thick and can lead to bleeding if an attempt to remove them is made. It can also affect the elbows, feet, knees and hands. Treatment of this condition is usually by creams and ointments and oral medicines like cyclosporine or methotrexate. All these should be recommended by a dermatologist.