How to treat cold sores naturally?

At some point in life, both children and adults can manifest the appearance of a cold sore. It usually appears in episodes of fever and low defenses, but its manifestation is difficult to control.

Cold sores are red, fluid-filled blisters that form near the mouth or on other areas of the face. In some rarer cases, they can appear on the fingers, nose, or inside of the mouth. They are usually clustered in patches and can last for two weeks or more.

The common virus called herpes simplex causes cold sores. It may be passed from one person to another through close contact, such as kissing. The sores are contagious even when they are not visible. So far there is no known cure and it is possible that it will reappear without warning.

What Causes Cold Sores?

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. There are two types of virus: type 1 (HSV-1), which generally causes cold sores, and simplex type 2 (HSV-2), which normally causes genital herpes. The actual sores are similar in appearance in both cases of the virus. It is also possible that HSV-1 causes sores on the genitals and HSV-2 causes sores in the mouth.

Visible cold sores are contagious , but can spread even when they are not visible. You can get the herpes simplex virus by coming into contact with people who have the virus. This can happen when kissing, sharing cosmetics or food. Oral sex can spread both cold sores and genital herpes.

Once you contract the virus, it cannot be cured, but it can be controlled. When the sores have healed, the virus remains inactive in your body. This means they can appear at any time when new virus is rea e. Some people with the virus report more frequent outbreaks when their immune systems are weak, such as during illness or times of stress.

Most common symptoms

The most common is to notice a tingling or burning sensation on the lips or face several days before a cold sore develops. This is the best time to start treatment. Once the sore forms, you will see a raised red blister filled with fluid. It will usually be painful and tender to the touch, and there may even be more than one sore present.

Its duration can be sta has two weeks and will be contagious until it forms a crust. In cases of the first cold sore, it may not appear until 20 days after contracting the virus. You may also experience other symptoms during an outbreak, such as fever, muscle aches, or swollen lymph nodes.

You need to call a doctor immediately if you experience any eye symptoms during a cold sore outbreak. The virus can lead to permanent vision loss if not treated promptly.

This type of lip condition has different stages. It is important to pay attention to each one of them to know where the herpes is found. The usual thing is that it goes through five stages :

  • Stage 1. The tingling and itching occur about 24 hours before the blisters appear.
  • Stage 2. Fluid-filled blisters appear.
  • Stage 3. The blisters burst, ooze, and form painful sores.
  • Stage 4. The sores dry and crust over, causing itching and cracking.
  • Stage 5. The scab falls off and the cold sore heals.

niña con herpes labial

Risk factors that influence cold sores

According to experts, 90 percent of adults worldwide test positive for herpes simplex virus type 1. Once you have the virus, certain risk factors can reactivate it, such as:

  • Infection, fever, or a cold
  • Sun exposure
  • Stress
  • HIV / AIDS or a weakened immune system
  • Menstruation
  • Severe burns
  • Eczema
  • Chemotherapy
  • Dental work

We are all at risk of getting a cold sore if we come into contact with the liquid from a cold sore by kissing, sharing food or drinks, or sharing personal care items such as toothbrushes and razors. By coming into contact with the saliva of someone who has the virus, we can contract the virus, even if there are no visible blisters.

The first time you get herpes simplex it can cause more serious symptoms and complications, as your body has not yet developed a defense against the virus. Complications are rare, but can occur, especially in young children. It is important to see a doctor immediately if we experience a high or persistent fever, difficulty breathing or swallowing, and red, irritated eyes with or without discharge.

Complications are more likely to occur in people who have eczema or a condition that weakens the immune system, such as cancer or AIDS. Also, healthcare workers, such as dentists, dental hygienists, and respiratory therapists, are at risk of developing herpetic whitlow from contact with people’s mouths.

mujer con herpes labial

How to treat cold sores?

So far no cure has been discovered for this type of herpes, but some people with the herpes simplex virus rarely have outbreaks. In the case of developing it, there are several ways to treat it.

Ointments and creams

When herpes on the lips becomes bothersome, you may be able to control pain and promote healing with antiviral ointments. Ointments tend to be most effective if applied as soon as the first signs of a sore appear. They should be applied four to five times a day for four to five days.

Despite being over-the-counter treatments, it is necessary for a health expert to analyze your symptoms to determine that you really have a herpes of this type. There may be other similar conditions that cause similar symptoms.


Cold sores can also be treated with oral antiviral medications, such as acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir. These drugs are available only with a prescription, so it is necessary to go to the consultation and have a specialist prescribe them.

Your doctor may direct you to take antiviral medications regularly if you experience complications with a cold sore or if your outbreaks are frequent.

Home remedies for cold sores

Symptoms can be relieved by applying ice or cloths soaked in cold water to the sores. Alternative treatments for herpes include the use of lip balm that contains lemon extract. Regular intake of lysine supplements is associated with less frequent flare-ups for some people.

Aloe vera , the cooling gel found within the leaves of the aloe plant, can soothe a cold sore. It is recommended to apply aloe vera lip balm or gel on a cold sore three times a day. In the case of petroleum jelly, it won’t necessarily cure a herpes, but it can ease the discomfort. In addition, it also serves as a protective barrier against external irritants.

Remember to always apply home remedies, creams, gels, or ointments on cold sores with a clean cotton swab or cotton ball.

How to prevent the spread of herpes?

To avoid spreading cold sores to others, you should wash your hands frequently and avoid skin contact with other people. Make sure you don’t share items that touch your mouth, like lip balm and food utensils, with other people during an outbreak.

You can help prevent reactivation of the herpes virus by knowing your triggers and taking steps to prevent them. Some prevention tips are:

  • If you get cold sores when you’re out in the sun, apply a zinc oxide lip balm before soaking up a few rays.
  • If you get herpes every time you are stressed, practice stress management techniques like meditation and journaling.
  • Avoid kissing anyone who has a cold sore and do not perform oral sex with someone who has active genital herpes.
  • Avoid any blow to the mouth or affected area.