* 90% of Americans will suffer from at least one cold sore in their lifetimes
* Cold sores are painful, unsightly and infectious
* These at-home treatments can decrease healing time
Unfortunately, cold sores are a fact of life for many. Up to 90% of Americans will suffer from at least one cold sore in their lifetimes, and 40% of the population will have multiple breakouts. Sores are painful, unsightly and infectious. That’s a recipe for disaster.
While prescription drugs can work to prevent and heal cold sores, they can be expensive and require a trip to the doctor at the right time. Skip that hassle by implementing one of these at-home treatments and cold sore life hacks. They may not eliminate cold sores completely, but these methods can make an outbreak much more comfortable and dramatically decrease healing time.
1. Try a Medicated Mouth Patch
Cover up your cold sore and help it heal at the same time with a Compeed Cold Sore Patch. These medicated patches provide healing powers at every stage of a cold sore outbreak. From sealing ruptured blisters and soothing burning sensations to preventing scab formation, this patch will make your life a whole lot more comfortable for the time being. In addition, by covering your cold sore, you’ll prevent the spread of the virus through accidental touching.
2. Apply Pure Vanilla Extract
Pure vanilla extract has anti-inflammatory properties that can aid in the healing of a cold sore. When you feel a cold sore coming on, soak a cotton ball in vanilla extract. Then, hold the cotton ball to the area of concern for two minutes four times a day until the cold sore disappears. You can use vanilla oil or premium vanilla extract, like this bottle from Perrier Aromatics.
Haitian Premium Vanilla Extract
3. Wear a Lip Product With SPF
Direct sunlight can trigger an outbreak of cold sores, so make sure you’re always wearing sunscreen for your skin and lips. The Herpecin-L Lip Balm has been specifically formulated to treat cold sores at the same time it protects your sensitive areas from the sun. It will also work to relieve chapped lips, making this a wonderful item to keep in your purse, desk or pocket throughout the winter.
Herpecin L Lip Balm
4. Use a Topical L-Lysine Product
L-lysine is an amino acid that can be taken orally or applied directly to the skin in order to decrease the occurrence, control the severity and accelerate the healing process of cold sores. Once you have a cold sore, it’s easiest to use a topical product like this Lysine Lip Ointment. In addition to the amino acid, this treatment also contains vitamins A, D and E plus cocoa butter for healthy, happy lips.
Lysine Lip Ointment
5. Ice the Cold Sore With an Ice Pack or Ice Cube
Most people know that ice controls pain and inflammation, especially when dealing with sports injuries. However, the age-old technique can also be effective for cold sore relief. The cold stuff works to slow down blood flow to the cold sore, therefore reducing pain and swelling. To take advantage of this natural cold sore treatment, invest in an ice mask like this one from Karmick. That way you’ll always have something on hand when a cold sore appears.
6. Take an L-Lysine Supplement Regularly & When You Feel a Sore Coming On
As we mentioned above, research shows that the amino acid l-lysine is a natural cold sore treatment, and taking such a supplement on a regular basis will help prevent cold sores from occurring as frequently. This particular l-lysine supplement can also work to promote healthy bones and create a better immune system. In addition, Pure Naturals makes nutrition aids that are free from fillers, meaning you won’t suffer any unexpected side effects with regular consumption.
7. Replace Your Toothbrush
Toothbrushes can retain traces of the herpes simplex virus. This means that if you don’t replace your toothbrush after a cold sore pops up, your current cold sore will likely last longer and you are at risk of more frequent outbreaks in the future. For that reason, the Philips Sonicare Electric Toothbrush is recommended thanks to its easy-to-change heads. As an added benefit, the electric toothbrush removes up to two times more plaque than a manual version.
Philips Sonicare Electric Toothbrush
8. Get an FDA-Approved Light Device
If you suffer from frequent, unsightly cold sores, you might want to consider investing in an FDA-Approved light device like this ViruLite. Light centered at a wavelength of 1072 nanometers has been proven to shorten the healing time of cold sores, and this device makes use of that fact by creating an at-home treatment. As an added bonus, the ViruLite was deemed safe for over-the-counter use by the FDA. Simply apply the light three times a day for two days to see the difference.