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How to Treat a Cold Sore

cold sore cartoon

How to Treat a Cold Sore

  • There is no cure for cold sores because the virus hides dormant in your lip nerves indefinitely. But when it tries to grow into a sore antivirals like Acyclovir cream applied over the tingly area or taken orally by tablet can drastically reduce the severity and duration of an outbreak. Acyclovir looks alot like an ingredient the cold sore virus uses when making copies of itself. But it's a faulty copy so new issues of the virus are dead.
  • The key to treat a cold sore is to start an antiviral cream or tabs at the first sign of symptoms to limit the frequency, duration and intensity of cold sore attacks - ideally within 72hrs of symptoms.
  • Get some rest. Cold sores come when your body is stressed.
  • If you get outbreaks very often your doctor may also put you on antiviral once a day tablets daily to lower your frequency of cold sores.

Cold Sore Cause

Cold sores are caused a Herpes virus. You pick it up from someone through their infected saliva e.g. sharing a spoon or kissing. Once it reaches your skin it burrows in and sets up a nursery in any nearby nerve protecting its viral offspring from your immune system. Any that pop out quickly get nabbed by your fighter cells and killed, but some stay protected in the nerve.

Things change when you get stressed. Your immune system gets sluggish and the Herpes virus clan take the opportunity to replicate and pop out the nerve and infect the skin above them. This is toxic to skin cells creating blisters and pain.

Cold Sore Symptoms

  • Tingling
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Blisters
  • Circular red patch

cold sore picture

Often you will get a tingling and soreness warning over the affected skin before the sore actually develops. These sores can infect loved ones through kissing.

MLA Citation for School Reports, Links, and Presentations:
Helpful Links:

  • Cold Sore Wiki
  • Cold Sore Stuff
  • Cold Sore Teen Info
  • Cold Sore Treatment
  • Cold Sore Dermatology
  • Cold Sore Forum


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    Last Updated:
    April 22 2016
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