Cold Sores

What are cold sores?

Cold sores or fever blisters are small painful blisters that can appear on the lips, around the mouth, face or nose.

Signs and symptoms of cold sores

Cold sores first form blisters on the lips which then become sores that make eating very difficult and painful. Eventually a scab in formed before they disappear.

What causes cold sores?

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). The virus infects the body through touching or kissing someone with cold sores or by using utensils, towels or other items from an infected person. After someone gets a cold sore, the virus then remains dormant until a trigger brings it back to life. Cold sore triggers include a fever, exposure to the sun, cold weather and stress.

Cold sores treatment

Although cold sores usually disappear within a couple of weeks, they can be painful. Anti-viral creams may be useful to relieve the pain and help the healing process. Natural remedies for cold sores include cold sore lip treatment creams containing lemon balm, lysine or coconut oil both of which display anti-viral properties and for recurring cold sores.

Recurring cold sores are best treated with lysine supplements. Lysine is an amino acid that is available in creams, lip balms and in supplements. Taken in supplement form at the onset of a cold sore, lysine is known to shorten the duration of cold sores and taken for a few months may help prevent recurrent cold sore breakouts.