Cold sores are more than just aesthetically unappealing; they can also cause major pain in and around your mouth. Such pain can affect the way you eat and your ability to take in fluids, which in turn affects your overall health and can alter your ability to get proper nutrition and hydration over time. Consequently, you want to ensure you remove your cold sore as quickly as possible so you can get back to your normal eating pattern. So, let’s take a look at some of the natural ways in which you can remove the sores without resorting to conventional drugs.
The Best Natural Remedies for Cold Sores
- Initial hygiene adjustments – Firstly, you should change your toothbrush as soon as the sore develops since you are likely to have the offending bacteria on your toothbrush, which will continue to inflame the problem as long as you are using the same brush. Disposables are a great option when you are experiencing an outbreak. Also, avoid touching your cold sore. Your skin’s oils can make it worse, and you can spread the infection if you then touch another open area on your body. This can be more difficult than expected, since you often don’t realize how many times during the day you touch your face!
- Petroleum jelly – Petroleum jelly is one of the best remedies for established cold sores. It produces a quality moisture patch over the sore itself and helps it heal, since the sore is unlikely to come into contact with other irritants. The moisture allows the lip to actually re-grow the skin necessary to reduce and eventually eliminate the sore, and also helps keep you from spreading the infection. As it seals it off from the other part of your lips, you won’t develop contact sores from talking or eating as you would if it were uncovered.
- Glycyrrhizic acid – Glycyrrhizic acid is found in licorice and has been shown to help cold sores heal. This happens from rubbing licorice oil on the area or eating licorice often to help avoid developing the cold sores at all. Either way, it is usually something fairly easy to do and can have a positive, long-lasting effect.
- Sunscreen – Sun damage keeps the sore from properly healing. It tends to inflame the problem even more so putting sunscreen over your cold sore if you have to be outside is important. Be sure to reapply after you eat, get it wet, or after four hours. The last thing you need is a larger sore because of additional exposure to the sun!
- Low acid foods – Lastly, you should avoid triggers for cold sores, especially foods with a high acid content like tomatoes, citrus, and vinegar. These can inflame the area and make cold sores develop or cause them to develop bigger. Instead, favor foods with a low acid content such as nuts, seeds, grains, high protein foods, vegetables, and fruits such as strawberries, apples, pears, and bananas.
Cold sores tend to pop up at the most inopportune times, so by taking care of your mouth and watching what you eat you can often avoid developing them. Another factor is making sure you know when you are starting to feel sick or your immune system is compromised. Stress and bad weather in particular can put you at risk of a breakout, so always bear that in mind if you’re prone to cold sores.